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Friday, March 30, 2012

tahini cookies -- gluten free + dairy free

oh no. i'm another week closer to turning 30. i've got just over one week in my 20's remaining. on the upside, that means i've got just over a week until i get to gorge on what i'm expecting to be an incredible birthday dinner and then again on gf/df birthday cake.

familiar with boulder? then you likely know the popular, james beard award-winning restaurant, frasca. well, a ways back the owners of frasca opened up a pizza joint a few steps down the block, pizzaria locale. i've spent the last year drooling over their menu. best part....wait for it....they have gf pizza crust! mark made reservations for us...i simply cannot wait.

my mom is flying out next week too, so she'll be celebrating with us. her birthday was earlier this week - so mark and i are planning to cook her a dinner of her choice and are making strawberry shortcake for her. a few days ago she called and asked me where she could score a gf/df bday cake for my bday. i suggested kim + jakes cakes. they do an incredible job and are experts on gf/df goodies. cake anticipation is building - its been YEARS since i've had a 'normal' cake. to top things off - the boulders farmers market opens the first sat of april - which just so happens to be my bday! i have a feeling turning 30 is going to be a little less painful than i've been expecting for the past year.

nuff about me - onto food. youre right, its been a while since i posted a 'sweet' recipe. so here she goes. i was at whole foods recently and came across a bunch of in-house produced gluten free + dairy free goodies.  i found myself staring down some delicious looking cookies and figured i'd be walking out sad faced and cookie-less. i bent down to take a better peak at the cookies and the ingredients - and to my surprise there were a few i could eat. hence my introduction to tahini cookies.

that aint cows milk folks - its hemp milk!
unfamiliar with tahini? i bet not. chances are if you've eaten hummus, you've had tahini. most hummus recipes call for it. tahini is roasted sesame seed paste. it lends depth of flavor as well as thick, creamy consistency to dishes that its added to. it was the perfect consistency - super smooth and creamy, not overly sweet - a bit of crunch from chocolate chips and walnuts - a smidge of tartness from dried cranberries - and some chewiness from raisins. i knew i wouldnt stop thinking about that cookie for a while. as soon as i got home from shopping i decided to take on the challenge of recreating these tasty morsels.

i've got to be honest with you - if you arent a fan of tahini - you may not enjoy these. depending on the brand tahini that you use the flavor intensity can vary quite a bit. sometimes folks think tahini has a strong, bitter flavor. when combined with the right ingredients and flavor profiles you can really manipulate this and mellow it out. so - give this a whirl and let me know if you like them!

tahini cookies
  • 1.5 cups rolled oats (certified gluten free) - pulsed in food processor until coarse
  • 1/2 cup tahini paste
  • 1/2 cup light agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup walnuts - roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 cup raisins and/or dried cranberries soaked in warm water for 30 minutes - optional 
  • 1/8 cup chocolate chips (dairy free) - optional
preheat oven to 325. pulse rolled oats in food processor until coarse. in a medium sized mixing bowl stir together agave nectar, tahini and cinnamon, then stir in coarse oats. when combined - gently stir in walnuts, raisins, dried cranberries, chocolate chips. using wet hands form 2 tbsp sized balls and place on a greased cookie sheet roughly 2 inches apart. bake approx 15 minutes, until cookies begin to brown around the edges. remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack for 10 minutes.

i highly recommend washing these down with an ice cold glass of vanilla hemp milk.


  1. fortunately
    i am not gluten
    or dairy intolerant

    but i have friends who are
    so i posted these delectable looking cookies
    on the Stuff and Nonsense fb page!

    thanks for sharing at Fridays Unfolded.


    1. thanks very much for stopping by and for sharing!


  2. You know, I have a big jar of tahini in my fridge, but I've only ever used it for making hummus. I think it's time to branch out a bit. I'm intrigued by these cookies!

  3. Katie----I have been searching for this recipe! Keep finding the ones without the choc. chips, but I LOVE LOVE the Tahini cookies in the bakery at whole foods. They are loaded with so many yummy healthy things and I find it hard not to leave with one every time I go.
    Is this recipe the carbon copy of that or one you found our came up with. I will try it, regardless and perhaps save money on my cookie splurge---thanks!

    1. Hi there - unfortunately, this is not their recipe. This is something that I came up with in my own kitchen. I looked at the ingredient list at the store and used it as a starting point. I tried a few different ratios with this cookie and this was the one that I liked the best!

      Hope you like them!


    2. Do be careful of oats. Unless they are pure, uncontaminated oats they may still upset some coeliacs.

      You can make these without any starches at all.

      1 cup unhulled Tahini
      1/2 cup palm sugar
      1 large egg
      1 teaspoon baking soda
      pinch of salt
      Sesame seeds - about 1/3 cup

      Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius
      Stir the tahini - very very well. Stir very thoroughly.
      Mix the stirred tahini with sugar, egg, baking soda and salt.
      Mix thoroughly
      Form the dough into walnut sized pieces and spoon onto trays lined with bake paper. Using a fork, press down on the mixture. Leave a little space between the dough to allow for spreading. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional) and bake for approximately 20 minutes. The biscuits will be golden when cooked and the centres still a little soft.

      Allow to cool before handling. Makes 18

  4. These turned out wonderfully well! They held their shape and that might have been due to using treacle instead of honey. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I've been noshing on the tahini oat cookies @ Whole Foods for years now and haven't taken it upon myself to try to recreate them... it's just been a WF treat when I trek the 40 miles to get there! These look incredibly similar & I am solo going to give them a try!!! Thanks for posting!!! :) Be blessed!

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