This one-bowl lemon tahini cookie bars recipe is perfectly fresh, flavorful, and effortless! Lemon adds a tangy and vibrant flavor while the tahini gives off an earthy and slightly bitter taste. Put it in cookie form, and you have an amazing & easy dessert!
If you're a fan of tahini, then wait until you try these cookie bars!!
They're the perfect balance of tangy and earthy with just a hint of bitterness to offset the sweetness.
What is tahini and what does it taste like?
Tahini is made up of ground sesame seeds and (sometimes) oil. It's texture is loose, smooth, and creamy, and is most popularly used to make dressing, sauce, and hummus.
Lately, I've been seeing tahini grow in popularity in the baking world! With everything from tahini brownies to tahini cookies, it's just as amazing in desserts as it is in savory recipes.
Tahini tends to separate into 3 layers as it sits in its jar (a thicker and chunky bottom layer, a loose middle layer, and an oily top layer). That's why it's always best to stir the contents of the jar well before using it in any recipe.
When it comes to taste, tahini tastes quite earthy and almost bitter - which is also why it's amazing for desserts (the sugar helps dull the bitterness for the perfect flavor combo)!
lemon tahini cookie bar ingredients
tahini: avoid buying any tahini bottles with a lot of ingredients. Tahini only really needs ground sesame seeds, but it's fine if the brand you bought also includes some oil. I also like to steer clear of any tahini with salt as an ingredient - I prefer to add salt depending on the recipe. You can also make your own tahini if you want to save some money (it can be pricey!) This recipe from Inspired Taste is my favorite.
lemon zest + juice
sesame seeds: optional. I like sprinkling some over top for added oomph!
how to make lemon tahini cookie bars
1. Whisk together wet ingredients.
2. Whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients. And you officially have your cookie dough!
3. Transfer cookie dough to your loaf pan, and pat it into an even layer. (Optional) sprinkle some sesame seeds over top before baking.
4. Bake! You can slightly underbake these bars for a chewier center or overbake them for a crispier cookie throughout!
A slightly underbaked cookie will sink in the center as it sits. That's totally normal!
5. Cool. Cool the cookies for about 10 minutes in the pan, then pull it out and set aside on a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Slice & serve!
lemon tahini cookie bars storage
These tahini cookies will keep for about 1 week. Store in an airtight container or plastic bag to keep them fresh!
You can also keep these lemon tahini cookies in the fridge and they'll keep for up to 2 weeks.
Check out these other recipes!
Lemon Tahini Cookie Bars Recipe
- 5 tablespoons (75g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- ⅓ cup tahini, stir well before measuring
- ⅔ cup (135g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about ½ a lemon)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 & ¼ cups (150g) all-purpose flour, spoon and leveled
- sesame seeds (optional - for topping)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of a standard 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. To make it easier to pull the cookie out of the pan later, I recommend leaving some parchment paper hanging over the sides as a little handle. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine butter, tahini, sugar, egg, and lemon zest and juice. Whisk to combine.5 tablespoons (75g) unsalted butter,, ⅓ cup tahini,, ⅔ cup (135g) granulated sugar, 1 large egg,, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Whisk your baking soda and salt into the wet ingredients to make sure they're evenly distributed. Fold in flour until you have a thick cookie dough.½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 & ¼ cups (150g) all-purpose flour,
- Transfer the cookie dough to your prepared loaf pan and flatten into an even layer. (Optional) Sprinkle some sesame seeds over top before baking.sesame seeds
- Bake in the center of your preheated 350°F oven for 22 to 25 minutes, or until browned along the edges and a skewer inserted into the center comes out relatively clean but with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool the cookie in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then pull the cookie out and place it on a wire rack to cool to handle. If you opted for a slightly underbaked and chewier cookie, the center will sink as it sits. That's normal!
- Slice and serve! You can enjoy these cookie bars warm or at room temperature.