You know the feeling: it’s twenty minutes after dinner. You’re full and seemingly suffonsified, when it hits you. I NEED A TREAT. Raisins will not help. Granola won’t cut it. Coconut chips? Pfff. That teeny square of dark chocolate you were keeping as a fallback has mysteriously gone missing (blame the kid!) and you’re desperate for an indulgence without anything in sight…sound the alarm!
That’s what happened to me recently, which lead me to frenetically probe the internet for something that could satisfy me in a hurry, which lead me to a 5-ingredient Almond Tahini cookie recipe from Cook Republic. The cookies looked really tasty, super simple to make, and I had everything I needed to get baking right away. Within 20 minutes I was eating said cookies, and I hadn’t even panicked. That much.
This recipe turned out to be so brilliant that I made the cookies again a few nights later. Then about a week after that. Each time, adjusting and adding ingredients for more flavour and texture each time until they were perfect. And now, I really feel like these cookies are my go-to, since they’re grain-and-gluten-free, high in protein and good fats, naturally sweetened, and endlessly customizable!
The best thing about these cookies however, is their dream texture: crispy outsides, and super chewy insides. And they are so satisfyingly dense that they really feel like food – not just a treat to curb a craving. They are also deliciously not-too-sweet, especially with the flaky salt on top that comes at you like firework flavour sparks.
For this post, I’ve made two variations for those who can’t decide on which festive flavours they love most: sweet and warming Orange-Spice to put us all in the holiday mood, and a rich and piquant Ginger-Molasses that is delightfully reminiscent of classic gingerbread. I used maple syrup to sweeten both cookies, but cut the amount in half for the Ginger-Molasses to make room for the blackstrap goodness! If you’d like to keep this version even lower on the glycemic index, you can replace all the maple syrup with molasses, just know that they will be very intense, and for molasses-lovers only. If you’d like to learn more about the health benefits of blackstrap molasses, how to purchase the right kind, and how to store it, check out my blog post here.
You’ll notice down below that I specify runny tahini in the recipe. This is because the tahini acts as part of the liquid component here, along with the maple syrup and molasses. If you only have thicker tahini, I suggest warming it together with the syrup(s) on the stove over low heat to achieve the runniness you need for the recipe to work. I got my tahini at a local grocery store that has a pretty decent ethnic food section. It’s perfect for baking since it’s inexpensive, and because the flavour of it gets overwhelmed by the other ingredients anyway. Save your expensive tahini for toast!
Grain-free Orange-Spice Tahini Cookies
Makes 20 cookies
2 cups / 220g almond flour (not almond meal)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cardamom
¼ tsp. ground star anise
½ tsp. flaky sea salt, plus more for garnish
pinch black pepper, optional
¾ cup / 175ml tahini
½ cup / 125ml pure maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange (preferably organic)
2 Tbsp. crushed cacao nibs to garnish
Preheat oven to 325°F / 170°C. Lightly grease, or line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, black pepper and salt. Set aside.Whisk tahini, maple syrup, vanilla, and orange zest together in a small bowl. If it is too thick, warm it in a small saucepan over medium heat until runny. Pour over dry ingredients and stir well to combine. The dough will be thick and you may need to use your hands to finish mixing.Roll about a tablespoon and a half worth of the dough in the palm of your hands, into a ball. Flatten slightly, then place on the prepared tray, sprinkle with cacao nibs and a pinch of flaky salt. Lightly press the toppings into the dough.Bake for 10-12 minutes until the bottom is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.Store in air tight containers at room temperature for up to a week.
Grain-Free Ginger-Molasses Tahini Cookies
2 cups / 225g almond flour (not almond meal)
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
½ Tbsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp. flakey sea salt, plus more for garnish
¾ cup / 175ml runny tahini
¼ cup / 60ml unsulphured blackstrap molasses
¼ cup / 60ml pure maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 Tbsp. chopped pistachios to garnish
Preheat oven to 325°F / 170°C. Lightly grease, or line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.Whisk tahini, molasses, maple syrup, and vanilla together in a small bowl. If it is too thick, warm it in a small saucepan over medium heat until runny. Pour over dry ingredients and stir well to combine. The dough will be thick and you may need to use your hands to finish mixing.Roll about a tablespoon and a half worth of the dough in the palm of your hands, into a ball. Flatten slightly, then place on the prepared tray, sprinkle with chopped pistachios and a pinch of flaky salt. Lightly press the toppings into the dough.Bake for 10-12 minutes until the bottom is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.Store in air tight containers at room temperature for up to a week.
If cookies aren’t your thing (are you a robot?), then check out the list below for a bunch of edible presents from My New Roots that are the perfect make-ahead gift to bring to all of those holiday parties, family get-togethers, and work socials. Some are sweet, some are savoury, but they all can be made in large batches and have a long-ish shelf life.
I will also mention that we’re taking holiday orders for the Life-Changing Loaf Subscription Box up until this Sunday, November 25th. That means if you order your box for yourself (or someone else to send as a gift!), it will arrive before the holidays. If you decide to order after November 25th, the box will come in the New Year. Remember that each box contains the ingredients for two loaves of Life-Changing Loaf! Thank you to everyone who has already ordered – your box is on the way!
My New Roots Homemade Edible Gifts
Big Batch Golden Milk
Superfood Haute Chocolate
Things in jars
Infused Syrup Gift Jars
Party Nut Butter
Simple Gourmet Granola
Chunky Chocolate Buckwheat Granola
Maple Cinnamon Grain-Free Granola
Za’atar Spice Blend
Everything Bagel Spice Blend
Dukkah Spice Blend