The key to these gooey, chocolaty blondies? Open sesame.

  • Butterscotch contrasts deliciously with the chocolate in Chocolate Chunk Tahini Blondies. And the tahini gives these blondies a nutty and faintly bitter flavor to cut what could be a too-sweet treat.

    Butterscotch contrasts deliciously with the chocolate in Chocolate Chunk Tahini Blondies. And the tahini gives these blondies a nutty and faintly bitter flavor to cut what could be a too-sweet treat. Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post

 
By Becky Krystal
The Washington Post
Updated 6/12/2019 6:17 AM

Novelty for the sake of novelty is an occupational hazard of food writing and recipe testing. How many ways can you make a chocolate chip cookie? What else is there to say about roasting a Thanksgiving turkey? And then when you're content not to move the needle too much, even your relatively restrained variations can send the internet peanut gallery into a shell-throwing frenzy. (Why, yes, I'm still paying off the therapy bills for the Cornbread Controversy of 2018 and Steak Storm of 2019.)

But food writers have to make a living somehow, so here I am wading back into territory I've already covered: Blondies.

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I have a soft spot for these soft treats, which are a little bit brownie, a little bit chocolate chip cookie, and a lot of delicious. First, there was Nigella Lawson's Warm Blondie Pudding Cake and then came Chrissy Teigen's Skillet Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies. These one-bowl Chocolate Chunk Tahini Blondies are something in between the two. They're the closest yet to a traditional blondie, and a generous pour of tahini, with its nutty and faintly bitter flavor, ensures the treat stays out of its sometimes-cloying territory. When my original source recipe from blogger and cookbook author Danielle Oron baked up thicker, drier and more caky than the type of blondies I favor, I swapped in brown sugar for the granulated and cut back on the eggs. It bears repeating: Test a recipe first as published, and then tweak based on your preferences and experiences.

Then I added chocolate, because I like its contrast with the butterscotch -- like blondie. I used chopped dark chocolate here, with somewhat irregular sizes to achieve a mix of more substantial melty deposits and faint freckles, but you can use your choice of bars or chips. To go bolder on the sesame, you could even fold in pieces of halvah (plain, marble or chocolate-covered), or add a sprinkling of black and white sesame seeds to the surface of the batter before you bake.

So, yes, here's one more blondie recipe that can morph into as many variations as you want. There can never be too many in my book.

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