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Sesame shortbread cookies

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

Other than chocolate chip, shortbread is one of my favorite go-to cookies. I love the buttery and slightly savory taste that they have, and there is something incredible about the texture. It's both soft and crunchy at the same time with a perfect crumb.

I make my 6 ingredient chocolate chip shortbread cookies often, but I knew it was time for a non chocolate shortbread option. Ever since I bought toasted sesame oil to make fried rice, I've been wanting to find a sweet application and finally came these delicious sesame cookies!

These cookies have a triple hit of sesame - toasted sesame oil, tahini, and sesame seeds to coat the sides of your cookies. I love the texture that the sesame seed coating adds, and the smoothness of the tahini swapped in for some of the butter in this recipe brings a deep, nutty flavor. All three sesame ingredients also have many savory applications, so they are great to have on hand.

One of the best things about shortbread, other than the incredible taste and texture, is the long shelf life. They can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for quite a while so they're a fun treat to bake and keep handy on the counter, or to bake ahead for loved ones.

The recipe itself is also quite low maintenance. I do recommend using a stand mixer but it can be done without. The most important thing is to ensure your butter is at room temperature and soft to the touch. If you have tahini opened already and in the fridge, you'll also want to take this out ahead of time. Ensuring your butter and tahini are both at room temperature will help to bring things together evenly and smoothly.


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature 85g

  • 1/3 cup tahini 85g

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar 30g

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 36g

  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour 135g

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds (for rolling)

Total time: About an hour

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Bake time: 40 minutes

Servings: 18 cookies


  • Stand mixer with a paddle attachment

  • Wax paper or plastic wrap (to roll your cookie dough)

  • Spatula

  • Cookie sheets

  • Parchment paper

  • Sharp knife

Cooking instructions

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

Into your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add 6 tablespoons of butter and turn your mixer on for about a minute at a medium to high speed.

Next, add in your tahini and turn your mixer back up to a high speed for 2 minutes until fully combined.

Pause and scrape down the sides of your mixer and paddle attachment. Add in both sugars, toasted sesame oil, and vanilla extract and turn your mixer back on for 2 minutes at high speed until everything is fully combined.

Add in your flour and salt, and turn your mixer on at a low speed. Pause when the dough begins to form, scrape down the sides of your bowl and paddle attachment, and turn the mixer back on at a low speed for 30 seconds to a minute until your dough forms. You can also finish this by hand with your spatula or a large spoon.

Next it's time to form your dough into a log that's about 9 inches long and 2 inches wide. To do this, place your dough into wax paper or plastic wrap - parchment paper can also work - and roll your material of choice around your dough to form your dough log. It doesn't have to be perfectly round. You can also do this in two logs, 4.5 inches x 2 inches which will help ensure an even width all the way through. Use a sharp knife to cut your cookies into 1/2 inch round slices, it should form 18 cookies.

In a small dish, add your sesame seeds. Roll each cookie dough slice however you'd like in your sesame seeds. I like to coat the edges and a little of the top near the sides. The sesame seeds should stick quite easily to your dough. When you do this, you can also gently help to round your cookies if they have a flat edge or are lopsided at all.

Space your cookies out onto a lined cookie sheet, I like to use parchment paper. Leave some space between your cookies, but know that they won't spread much if at all.

Bake your cookies for 40 minutes. Allow them to cool and enjoy!

Store your cookies in an airtight container at room temperature, and they will remain fresh for at least 5-6 days if not longer.

Carb and serving info

Servings: 18 cookies

Carbs per serving: 10

Carbs for full recipe: 186

Note: Carb information is calculated based on the specific ingredients I used to cook with to help guide my own insulin to carb ratio when dosing before I eat my home cooked recipes.


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