All you need are 7 simple ingredients to get these dense and chewy cookies. They’re dairy and nut-free, with just the tiniest hint of sweetness to bring out the tahini flavor.
You probably already know, but in case you missed it, I have a
major slight obsession with peanut butter. Buuuuuut, as the allergist reaffirmed last week, both of my brothers are allergic. How am I supposed to make the chewiest cookies ever? My brain scrambled for a solution, finally landing on tahini.
Hey. I see you looking at me funny. Gosh, didn’t your mother teach you anything? Don’t yuck my yum!
For the longest time I was stubbornly partial to hummus. What’s that you say? There’s tahini in hummus? Pfft. Technicality. I’m a big proponent of hummus. Who wouldn’t want to slather it on toast and dip those crunchy baby carrots in it? If eating hummus causes bloating and cramps, don’t worry– you’re not alone!
Chickpeas are composed of about 60% starch; our bodies have a harder time digesting oligosaccharides like these. Raffinose, a type of short-chain oligosaccharides found in these legumes, can only be broken down by a certain enzyme, which humans lack. Instead, the compound passes into the colon and gets fermented by our intestinal bacteria, inducing cramps and abdominal bloating. If you’re on a low-FODMAP diet, then you’re avoiding raffinose.
Tahini, on the other hand, is a great alternative if you need a way to get your hummus fix. The tough outer hull of seeds prevents your body from digesting them properly, but by grinding sesame seeds into paste, you’re able to benefit from all the nutrients.
Not only that, but you get tahini to drizzle artistically on your Buddha bowls! Win-win.
Sesame seeds are a high alkaline food; some say that a high alkaline diet, consisting of foods such as tahini, is best because it helps maintain balanced internal pH levels. After researching this a bit, I’m not convinced this is necessarily true. Studies seem to show that it alters the pH of urine, without having much effect on internal pH. But the approach has value purely because of the focus on fruits and vegetables, which have their own health benefits.
Alkalinity aside, tahini is also chock full of B vitamins we need to maintain healthy nervous and immune systems. Those, in turn, promote strong, healthy skin and hair. You mean I can finally be like the hair models?? If you see me tossing my hair like in shampoo commercials, now you know why.
All right, real talk time. I made these cookies 5 times, each batch just a liiiiiittle bit different. Then I proceeded to interrogate everyone who tasted any version to give me a full-blown critique of taste and texture. Ya girl’s gotta do what ya girl’s gotta do.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Don’t let the name of ‘cookie’ give you any sugar-laden ideas. These are not your average sweet-tooth satisfier. With only a bit of maple syrup, there’s really just an undertone of sweetness laced through the cookie. That being said, you’re still going to love the savory-leaning snack, even if only because it’s different.
- Check out this post on Sally’s Baking Addiction to learn more about how to measure properly.
- Chopping the pepitas roughly with a knife helps spread the pumpkin seed wealth. Don’t be lazy.
- The salt sprinkled on right before baking really enhances the flavor. If you’re on a low-salt diet because you need it, then you do you. Otherwise, embrace the salt people.
- I tried mixing the wet ingredients separately and then adding in the dry. While the texture remained the same, most of my testers infinitely preferred the taste of the first batch, when I simply dumped it all in a bowl at once. For the life of me, I cannot explain why it happened. If this goes against your baking sensibilities, then I recommend mixing the syrup, vanilla, egg and salt, then adding the flour, then the tahini, and finally pepitas.
Dessert, to me, doesn’t equal overly sweet. If I’m going to have, I want something that leaves me content after just one. These cookies absolutely hit the sweet spot (pun fully intended).
The thick, creamy tahini lends a super dense and chewy texture. I honestly didn’t miss the peanut butter, and coming from me, that’s saying a LOT. Not to mention how nice it feels to share what I make with my two favorite allergy-ridden brothers.
Nut-free or not, these cookies won’t disappoint. Savor the taste of tahini with a pumpkin seed crunch. Grab those 7 ingredients, one bowl, and get started on the easiest cookies that ever filled your cookie jar.
If you try this recipe, I’d love your feedback. Leave a comment, save it on Pinterest, or tag #lensesandlentils on Instagram to share!
- 1 cup whole wheat flour*
- ½ cup tahini
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp raw shelled pepitas, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- In a bowl, mix all ingredients except the pepitas. Make sure everything is fully combined.
- Add in the pepitas, using your hands to incorporate into the dough if necessary.
- Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and place on baking sheet. Gently flatten and form a crisscross pattern by pressing lightly with a fork. Sprinkle with extra salt.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool fully before storing in an airtight container.
*The dough will be very thick and a bit wet.
*These cookies do not spread, so if you don't want them chubby then make sure to press them down! Although a chubby cookie is still a cookie, and we don't discriminate.