Chocolate Helva Cookies

149 cal, 14C/9F/5P/6S.

I made these cookies a couple of weeks ago and I actually got mad at myself for creating a cookie that checks out all my boxes for what constitutes a good cookie.

An exotic flavor? Tahini and helva, check! Crunchy on the outside soft in the middle, check! Coated with crackly chocolate on top, check! Not too sweet, check!

Are you familiar with helva? It’s a tahini based confection that’s pretty popular around the Middle East (I’m from Turkey so I was raised on this stuff… which explains a lot) It’s extremely sweet – basically just sugar, tahini and flour cooked together.

It’s actually the go-to snack for anyone who’s expected to do some sort of high-performance activity (think breastfeeding moms, growing kids, wrestlers… what a group of people LOL). I sure consumed my fair share of it when I was BF’ing Austen. Oh those sweet days. PS. These would make the most amazing lactation cookies!

Anyway I used a more reasonable amount of helva in this, just enough to give the cookies a unique flavor and a flaky texture. You can find helva in some fancy food stores and most Middle Eastern markets in the US.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/2 cup tahini (112 g)
  • 2 tbsp honey (42 g)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp (or more) unsweetened almond milk or water
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour (or all purpose, oat, gf all purpose) (120 g)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 oz (about 1/4 cup) helva* chopped (50 g)
  • 2 tbsp semisweet chocolate chips (28 g)

Makes 12 cookies. Preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment. Beat your egg and whisk in tahini, honey, vanilla. This should be liquid and not a paste (some tahini is more thick than others), if it turns into a paste add enough almond milk or water to turn it into liquid. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt. Combine the two with a spatula. Fold in the helva and form 12 balls. You can flatten them or skip. Bake 10-12 minutes until browned around the edges. Let cookies cool and dip/drizzle with melted chocolate. If you’re too lazy to melt chocolate (it’s easy in the microwave) you can just fold in the dough or top the cookies!

(*) If you don’t have access to helva, just omit or simply add more chocolate (1/4 cup more chocolate). The cookies will still have a helva like flavour but with more chocolate (and very similar nutrition info).

Hope you love these as much as I did and remember to tag me on instagram with your photos! ❤

Author: Elif

Hi I'm Elif! I'm a mama, computer science PhD and Google engineer by day, food blogger by night. I love beautiful desserts that not only taste amazing, but also leave you feeling amazing. I use my math skills and interest in nutrition to carefully optimize my recipes to use simple, good-for-you ingredients and minimal amount of added sugar. I believe that healthy desserts can be simple. Recipes should not send you searching for rare ingredients, untested sweeteners or measuring ridiculous 1/2 tsp of butter. Here we use few ingredients, basic measuring cups, spoons, and simple fruit, veg, little sugar and syrup as sweeteners. Most recipes here use so little added sugar that they're good enough for toddlers. I also believe that you should be able to fit healthy sweets into your daily routine. No matter how much almond flour and coconut oil is in a healthy dessert recipe, there's no way I'm going to ingest a meal's worth of energy and a day's worth of total sugar from dessert alone. And that is the reason all my desserts have less than 200 cal per serving and are low-sugar. So now will you join us?

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