It's cold everywhere. My car takes a solid 10 minutes to warm up, the vents blowing tepid air in my direction. My toes are cold. My ears are cold. I blow repeatedly on the tips of my fingers; my thin gray gloves are no match for the weather.
There are solutions for cold weather: down jackets, insulated leggings, snow boots. Those are so--shall we say--conventional, don't you think? Pedantic? Sort of done?
A more creative approach is the "cookie warm-up". Here, you use baking as a good excuse to stand next to your preheated oven. You eat a bit of cookie dough while they bake (because you're all about quality control, naturally). Then you climb under a blanket with a warm cookie in one hand and wool socks on your feet. Each bite oozes with molten chocolate, and you finally feel as if you've chased away the chill.
Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Modern Israeli Cooking by Danielle Oron
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup tahini
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cups dark chocolate chips
flaky salt (I use Maldon)
In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter, tahini, and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and egg yolk and beat until well-combined. Mix in the vanilla.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt (full disclosure: I basically never do this step because I am lazy and it always turns out fine).
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
The brilliant author of this recipe, Danielle Oron, strongly suggests that you let the dough rest in the refrigerator overnight at this point. I have, shall we say, no patience so I don't always wait. But you can, and should, because it will help develop flavor and texture.
When ready to bake, drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave a little space, as they will spread slightly. Top each cookie with a pinch of flaky sea salt.
Bake the cookies in a preheated 325 degree F oven for 13 to 16 minutes. I prefer to take them out when they are just golden brown around the edges but look rather soft and underbaked in the middle. They firm up as they cool and are way better when slightly chewier in the center. Tahini often makes baked goods taste dry (like peanut butter does) so be very careful NOT to overbake these guys.
Let them cool for a few minutes on a baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.