Two days ago, my friend Alice posted on a group chat: Has anyone on here ever made or eaten cookies with tahini? Sarah, I feel like you have a blog recipe for this.
She ended the text with a plea to two other members of the chat: Please don’t kill me. There may be some unresolved tension there in regard to desserts with strange ingredients. (One of the friends did respond with a gif of Judge Judy clapping her hand over her face while saying “oy very!”
A few minutes later, Alice returned to the chat after checking The Creative Palate, I assume, because she wrote: I knew it! You have a recipe but it’s for cake.
Here’s the funny thing: I did have a tahini cookie recipe. The cookies were photographed and everything. I just couldn’t think of anything to write about in the post. (Well, that wasn’t the only reason I didn’t publish it yet. Life is sorta crazy right now, you know?) Friendly pressure is a great way to get a recipe posted, especially when you can use your friend’s texts as content…
Hi Alice! Here’s the recipe I was talking about! I’m taking it out of the backlog just for you.
It took moving to Israel for me to discover tahini in desserts. Think of it this way: It’s like almond butter but so much cheaper — at least it is here!
My first recipe with this ingredient, as Alice mentioned, is the Gluten-Free Chocolate Tahini Cake. It has become my husband’s favorite dessert. Whenever he makes a request, he choose that one. As you can all guess, I have successfully indocrinated him into the mindset that gluten-free does not equal gross. I’m becoming a pro at this. My originally healthy-dessert-defiant brother barely blinked when I told him the cake had tahini in it. That is true character development.
That is also the hidden power of deliciousness of tahini in a dessert.
These cookies are naturally vegan, which means you can sample the dough with no qualms whatsoever (as if anyone had qualms about that before… well, at least I didn’t.) They are chewy, slightly gooey, and packed with sweet flavors that complement each other perfectly. For a little cookie, it can explode with deliciousness.
And no, you don’t taste the tahini. That is usually the primary worry for people experimenting with this ingredient for the first time. Raw tahini has mild earthy taste that is as invasive as the sesame seeds on a bagel AKA not at all. When mixed with stronger flavors like vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate, and date honey, you don’t taste the tahini. You taste the scrumptious cookie.
Easy Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies
- 1/2 cup tahini*
- 1/3 cup date honey**
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup gluten-free oats
- 3 tbsp potato or tapioca starch
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the tahini, date honey, and vanilla extract until combined.
- Add in the oats, potato or tapioca starch, salt, cinnamon, and chocolate chips and mix until everything comes together and let it rest for about 5 minutes for the batter to thicken. (If your batter is very runny, add one more tablespoon of starch. And if it is too thick and dry, add in a tablespoon of tahini.)
- Using a cookie scoop or your hands, scoop or roll out the dough into balls and place onto the lined baking sheet. Flatten the cookies slightly with your palm or back of a fork.
- Bake for 10–12 minutes or until the edges and bottom of the cookies are golden brown. Do NOT over bake them, you want them to be chewy and slightly under-done.
Notes about the ingredients:
*Tahini can vary based on the brand. If it’s more runny or thick, you may have to adjust the recipe accordingly; the instructions are included in the recipe. The recipe as written has worked for me without any changes.
**If you don’t have date honey, you can swap it for bee honey or maple syrup. Keep in mind that the flavor will be slightly changed. The consistency of date honey is more similar to maple syrup, as they are both thinner and slightly runnier than bee honey. If you’ve never tried date honey, I definitely recommend it for this recipe. It compliments the tahini and cinnamon wonderfully!