Quick and easy one-pot tahini, honey and almond cookies
Tahini in a cookie?! Once upon a time, I bought a jar of tahini and wrote to the company because it didn’t taste like hommus. True story. Yes, it’s in hommus and no, it doesn’t taste like hommus. My jar had a slightly bitter, overpowering taste which made me think it was “off” the first time I had it.
I was so curious about tahini in a cookie that I decided to give this recipe by Cook Republic a go. It was so quick and simple that I did it in one pot which also saved on cleaning time. It is the perfect snack to tie you over to the next meal – healthy, bite-sized and scrumptious. Prepare extra so that when you’re a bit hangry and don’t want to reach for the packet of chips, it’ll be the sensible adult option!
What is tahini?
Tahini is basically 100% sesame seed paste (it isn’t hommus). It’s smooth, creamy and surprisingly bitter but be prepared. It is not naturally sweet like natural peanut butter or (to be honest) pleasant by itself compared to other nut butters. I would even call it an acquired taste. However, it’s delicious in hommus, babaghanoush, savory sauces and dressings, and in baking (including this recipe).
What is the difference between and unhulled and hulled tahini?
Unhulled tahini is made using unhulled sesame seeds which have their outer shells (hull) still around the seed. On the contrary, hulled tahini have been made with sesame seeds that have had the hull removed. Unhulled tahini is slightly more bitter and may not be completely smooth. If you had to get one for baking, sauces or in cooking, hulled tahini is better and the way to go.
Easy one-pot tahini, honey and almond cookies
The original recipe used maple syrup which made it vegan-friendly. I didn’t have maple syrup so I used honey instead and reduced it to 100g. Then I tasted it and adjusted according to preferred sweetness by adding another teaspoon. Make sure you taste yours and adjust accordingly.
The vanilla essence was reduced to 1.5 tsp since I find it can be too sweet if I add too much to some recipes. Also, I wanted the tahini to be the star, without being unpleasant so it’s a balance that requires taste testing. I think you could even omit the vanilla essence if you didn’t have it but adjust with some honey.
Even though the recipe recommended turning off the oven after 10 min, I baked mine for about 15 min in order for the cookies to brown properly and I didn’t let them sit inside the oven. Check on them visually and adjust the time accordingly.
I topped mine with roughly crushed pistachios and pepitas. Delicious either way. Feel free to place fruits, nuts or nothing on top.
Chew factor: A few things affect the chewiness of these cookies. You need to adjust them to suit your tastes.
Cookie size: Thicker cookies will have a chewy, softer interior while thinner cookies will be chewier and “crispier” (not for those with braces or weak teeth).
Baking time: 20 minutes for extra chewy and 15 minutes for soft chewy
For harder, chewier cookies: bake for another 5 minutes (20 minutes) then remove from oven. They will be a darker brown (left cookie)
For softer, chewy cookies: remove after they turn slightly brown (about 15 minutes). I prefer them thicker since there’s more to chew and slightly softer on the inside (but still chewy) (right cookie).
Cooling: If you don’t let them cool, they won’t be as chewy. This is less adjustable since you need to cool them to store them.
I like my cookies with a softer chew so mine were 1cm thick and baked for about 15 minutes. I also ate them warm (also I was hungry on the road to hangry).
Since tahini is made from sesame seeds, your jar will separate into the paste and oil. Before baking, make sure you stir the tahini so it becomes homogenous. This will ensure you get a smooth consistency rather than just sesame oil.
Oh, and the company did write back requesting the batch number. After I sent this through, I didn’t get a response. I’m sort of glad because the “off” smell, is exactly what tahini is meant to be like. My nose was just a bit uncultured. Now it’s a whole new world! (Having said that, don’t go around thinking every “off” food is you being uncultured – better to not eat it if you’re unsure!)
Have you made this or something tahini-related? Do you have an “uncultured” food story like mine? Share them in the comments below!
Easy one-pot tahini, honey and almond cookies
These tahini, honey and almond cookies are filled with loads of nutrition. Quick and easy as a snack to tie you over to the next meal. Made in one pot, it's super easy to clean as well. Give it a go!
Place tahini, honey, vanilla essence and salt in a medium non-stick pot and stir slowly over medium heat until this mixture is smooth. Taste the mixture and adjust for sweetness with more honey if needed.
Once the mixture is smooth, take the pot off the stove and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
Combine the almond meal with the tahini and honey mixture in the pot until it is just damp. Scoop an Oreo sized ball into your palm and squeeze it like a stress ball. If it keeps its shape, the mixture is done.
Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough into the palm of your hand, roll it into a ball then flatten it into a circle. I made mine about 4cm in diameter and 1cm thick. Adjust the amount based on your preferences (see note 1). Place the cookies about 1 cm apart on the baking tray.
Arrange some roughly chopped pistachios and pepitas on top of the dough then lightly press them into the dough.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes (see note 2).
Remove them from the oven and place them on cooling wire racks until cool (see note 3).
Note 1: Size of cookies: Adjust the size of the cookies according to how chewy you want it to be. Thicker cookies will have a chewy, softer interior while thinner cookies will be chewier and "crispier" (not for those with braces or weak teeth).
Note 2: Baking time: Adjust baking time depending on how chewy you want it. 20 minutes for extra chewy and 15 minutes for soft chewy.
Note 3: If you don't let them cool, they won't be as chewy.