I discovered tahini cookies when I was actually looking for something to make with sunflower seeds. The recipe was on Food.com, and intrigued me for the short list of ingredients and lack of refined sugars. I adapted the recipe a little – the original made a huge batch, was a little short on directions, and had just a smidgen too much salt. And the result was quite tasty. I originally posted this recipe back in 2010, but am updating it for Food Allergy Awareness Week. Sorry, I don’t have new photos!
Tahini Cookies are Naturally Dary-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free & Gluten-Free
Tahini is sesame seed butter. It’s very popular in Middle Eastern fare, and is even used in sweets. Compared to other nut and seed butters, tahini is bold and a bit bitter, but it has an alluring flavor. Tahini is also quite nutritious, and helps to make these breakfast-worth IMO.
If you’re a tahini fan, then you will love these tahini cookies. They have a strong flavor that plays off the sharp sweetness of honey. If you’re a little timid with tahini, you can substitute half of another nut or seed butter for the tahini. For example, you could use 1/4 cup cashew butter or peanut butter and 1/4 cup tahini. If you don’t have any tahini on hand, you can substitute another nut or seed butter altogether.
Please note that the dough is very sticky! I always use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat to prevent sticking and I keep my hands damp while shaping the dough.
Special Diet Notes: Tahini Cookies
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
- ¾ cup sunflower seeds
- ¾ cup honey (can sub a vegan honey alternative)
- ½ cup tahini (can sub another nut or seed butter)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups quick oats or rolled oats (certified gluten-free, if needed)
- Dairy-free chocolate chips, as many as you like (optional, but recommended)
- Preheat your oven to 300ºF. While the oven is preheating, place the sunflower seeds on your baking sheet and put them in the oven to toast for about 5 minutes while you prep the other ingredients.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the honey, tahini, and salt. Stir in the oats, toasted sunflower seeds, and chocolate chips, if using. The dough will be quite sticky.
- Using wet hands (to prevent sticking), shape the dough into crabcake-like patties (I got about 15 patties) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. They don’t spread much while baking.
- Bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes. They will start to darken slightly, but will still have a sheen when they are done. The gloss will make them appear wet, but they aren’t.