I was not expecting to post this recipe. I was not expecting it to taste good, much less come out right, after 2 failed attempts at meringues earlier in the day (ugh). But I was intrigued, as I always am by odd combinations. Tahini, oats and dates in a cookie? My mom was not excited. And I’m not sure if I even was, but I was just too curious not to try them.
Wow. A completely surprised wow. My mom tried one first and said, “those cookies are really good.” What?! She never likes my cookies because hers are always better. But she was right, these were really good. The texture of a perfect oatmeal cookie, the sweetness lent by honey and soft dates, the earthiness of the tahini, and the lingering touch of spice…… They in fact reminded me of my favorite oatmeal raisin cookie in my freshman year dining hall in college, although I’m sure these are much more nutritious =]
As for the recipe, it’s incredibly simple and nutritious. Tahini, oats and honey are your main ingredients; add anything else you desire. Tahini had me thinking hummus, which had me thinking Middle Eastern…. which brought to mind my awesome little jar of garam masala! I decided it would definitely make an appearance. I also used this Ceylon cinnamon mom had in the cabinet, which has a slightly spicier taste than typical cinnamon, similar to Saigon cinnamon if you’ve ever had it. Although I’ve never been a fan of dates, I used them as the recipe called for and was pleasantly surprised. But I think I’ll use raisins next time just because I love raisins!
Tahini Date Oatmeal Cookies, adapted from here
½ cup tahini (this was my first time buying tahini and it was very runny/oily—not sure if this is typical but if yours is more paste-like then I would add a little oil)
½ cup honey (or agave for a vegan version)
1 t vanilla extract
½ cup chopped Medjool dates OR raisins / golden raisins
1 ½ cups oats (gluten free if desired), coarsely processed, leaving ¼ to ½ cup of them whole
½ t cinnamon (Saigon or Ceylon if you can find it!)
½ t garam masala (or replace with more cinnamon / spice of choice)
¼ t salt, plus a shake of coarser sea salt
½ t baking soda
Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine tahini, honey, vanilla extract and chopped dates until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix together oats, cinnamon, garam masala, salt and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until well-blended [my dough was a little dry and not sticking together, so I added a few tsps soymilk.] Drop spoonfuls of batter onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheets for a couple minutes before removing to cool completely. Makes 10 – 15 cookies.