Fig, Tahini and Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies
19 cookies
Adapted from Baking at République by Margarita ManzkeI made a number of modifications, including adding some whole-wheat flour, vanilla, and chocolate chips. I also made them a little smaller than they do at the bakery.If you want to skip the chocolate chips, you could add a few swipes of grated lemon or orange zest, to complement the figs. Or a sprinkle of coarsely ground anise seeds. If you leave them out, you’ll get 15 to 16 cookies. Be sure to use dried figs that are moist, not hard and dried out.A head’s up; the dough for these cookies should rest overnight in the refrigerator for the ingredients to meld properly. If you just can’t wait, even letting them chill for several hours will help. When it’s time to bake them, note that the cookies are baked with chilled dough, not room temperature.
1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour, plus 1/3 cup (45g) whole wheat flour, or 1 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (packed), 120g light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120g) well-stirred tahini
1 large egg
1 cup (150g) chopped dried figs (hard stems removed), see headnote
1 cup (4 1/2oz, 130g) coarsely chopped milk chocolate
1/2 cup (70g) sesame seeds, plus more if needed
1. In a small bowl, whisk the flours (or flour), baking soda and salt together.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or by hand in a bowl with a spoon or spatula, mix the butter, both sugars, and the vanilla extract on medium speed until well combined. Mix in the tahini, then the egg, stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides to make sure everything is incorporated.
3. Stir in the flour mixture on low speed, then the figs and chocolate chips. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and portion cookies into 2-inch (5cm) rounds using either a spring-loaded ice cream scoop or two soup spoons, and place them on the baking sheet. For the nicest shaped cookies (after they’re baked, in step #4), roll the mounds of cookie dough gently in your hands to smooth out any rough edges. Cover and refrigerate the dough overnight.
4. To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Put the sesame seeds in a small bowl and roll each mound of chilled cookies dough in the sesame seeds to coat them, placing them about 2-inches (5cm) apart on the prepared baking sheet as you go. (The cookies don’t need to be perfectly coated with seeds; gaps are normal.) Press them down very lightly on the baking sheet, but don’t flatten them, to avoid them rolling around when you walk it over to the oven. The cookies won’t all fit on the baking sheet, so you’ll have to bake them in two batches.
5. Bake the cookies on the center rack of the oven, rotating the baking sheet midway during baking, until they are browned around the edges and very lightly browned across the top, for 15 minutes. Don’t overbake them. Remove the cookies from the oven and use a flat spatula or pancake turner to tap down the domed tops of the cookies so they’re flat. (Don’t squish them; a few gentle taps should do.) Let cool for a few minutes then transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack. Allow the baking sheet to cool completely, then bake the remaining cookies.

Storage: The unbaked dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to two months.