For many people, me included, Paris is the best city in the world when it comes to pastry, it’s an undeniable fact that some of the pastry chefs in the world are in Paris. But you know what you cant find in the city, a good cookie. Now I’m not talking sables, sure the French can pull of wonderful cookies like that, but when it comes to American style cookies, those in the realm of the chocolate chip cookie, well the less said the better. I remember when a ‘US style’ bakery opened in the Marais with the promise of a warm chocolate chip cookie enticing me to the bakery. Sadly I couldn’t be enticed past the door as the cookies in the window were a truly sad example of a cookie. Thankfully there is one bakery that is changing this in a very big way, so on those rare occasions nothing else than a warm gooey cookie will do I have a place to go.
Mokonuts is a bakery and restaurant a little out of the tourist mainstay, but well worth a detour, in the 11th arrondisement. Its a small hole in the wall spot turning out some absolutely wonderful food but more importantly for todays purposes amazing cookies. These cookies are from a hidden gem these days, they’ve been featured everywhere from the New York Times to Saveur Magazine. The reason I am so late to the game is I simply refused to believe the hype, surely no bakery in Paris is worth visiting for cookies when there is so much amazing patisserie on offer? I bow my head in pastry shame because these cookies are truly phenomenal, using ingredients not commonly found in cookies. They’re using everything from buckwheat to tahini, miso to black olive, and every single cookie I have tried has been a delight with a wonderful chewy texture hiding a treasure trove of additions, the sort of cookies that demand you buy at least one extra as their is no way they’ll all make it home. With my current obsession with all things tahini it was the sesame seed studded cookie that caught my eye, that and the multigrain chocolate chip cookie I absolutely must order every single time I’m there.
I wanted to make a cookie inspired by the flavours found in this fabulous spot and I think I’ve done them proud. The flavour of my tahini and rye chocolate chip cookie is my idea of heaven, a perfect pairing of slightly bitter dark chocolate, nutty rye flour and of course the tahini paste which gives an almost savoury nutty back note. I have made these multiple times now and never once have I been able to eat only one, these things are addictive.
Tahini and Rye Chocolate Chip Cookies
125g wholemeal rye flour
100g wholemeal plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
100g unsalted butter, room temperature
200g light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g chocolate (65-75% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
Sesame seeds, to coat
To make the cookie dough place the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl and mix together to combine, set aside.
Place the butter, tahini and sugar into a large bowl and using an electric mixer beat together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg, yolk and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined, then add the chocolate and mix until evenly distributed. Scoop the dough into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for about 4 hours until firm. I often make these in the evening and bake off the dough the next day.
Scoop the cookie dough into pieces about 60g in size. Roll into balls and then coat in sesame seeds, you’re not looking to completely cover the cookie just a nice even coating over all the cookie.
Place onto parchment lined baking trays, a couple inches apart, and then bake in an oven preheated to 190C (170C fan) for about 10-11 minutes. This temperate is a little higher than normal to help set the cookies earlier so they don’t spread as much. After they’ve been in the oven for about 7 minutes remove the trays from the oven and give them a firm tap on the surface before placing back in the oven for the remaining time until browned around the edges. Allow the cookie to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
These cookies will keep in a sealed container for about 3-4 days.