Soft & Chewy Flourless Ginger Tahini Cookies

Soft & Chewy Ginger Tahini Cookies

In January, well after holiday season was over, a client sent a big box of Tate's Cookies to the office, where they filled the kitchen counter for half a week. It was the worst (but also the best) kind of way to kick off January. I had been wanted to make a gingery version of these tahini chocolate chip cookies for some time -- I even had made a batch over the holidays that didn't quite work out. Despite it being peak resolution season, that counter full of cookies was just the push I needed to dive back into recipe development. 

The dream: a chewy, rich, flourless ginger cookie with chunks of crystallized ginger. 

I knew that tahini would be the perfect base, but my first attempt used far too much molasses and the cookies were WAY too soft. I learned, on that attempt, that coconut sugar really imparts enough molasses-y flavor anyhow, as it's unrefined so still carries all of the minerals that are stripped from refined sugars when molasses is made. 

Soft & Chewy Ginger Tahini Cookies
Soft & Chewy Ginger Tahini Cookies

Tips for making these chewy tahini ginger cookies: 

  • STIR THAT TAHINI. This is in all caps because it's no joke. Tahini separates fast and if your tahini is all oil or all solids you're batter won't work. Last time I published a tahini cookie recipe someone asked about how to best stir tahini, which is a really good question because it's not the easiest to stir. But don't worry! Just scrape the entire jar into a blender, and let it rip. OR, carefully put your immersion blender into your tahini container (this is what I do, but also can foresee what a mess this might make in the wrong circumstances) 

  • Let them cool. Really! I too like hot-out-of-the-oven cookies, but these cookies need a minute to set up. More like 5-10. They'll still be warm, and they'll stay soft for a week at room temperature. BUT, if you try to pick one up while it's still piping hot it will just collapse and melt in your hand (if you can even get it into your hand). 

Ok, "mom" warnings over. Now, the recipe! 

Soft & Chewy Ginger Tahini Cookies

Soft & Chewy Flourless Ginger Tahini Cookies

Published February 21, 2019 by
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Yields: 16   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup tahini (stirred very well - try blending it with your blender if it is separated)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger grated on a microplane
  • Optional: 1/3 cup ginger chips (like this - affiliate link) or finely chopped crystallized ginger

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine coconut sugar, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves. Whisk briefly.
    3. Add tahini, vanilla, egg, and fresh ginger to bowl, and use a spatula to stir until a stiff, sticky batter forms.
    4. Optional: place bowl of batter in the fridge for 10 minutes to allow dough to stiffen a bit more.
    5. Using your hands, roll dough into spheres by the heaping tablespoonful. Place spheres at least 2 inches apart of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and flatted slightly with your fingers.
    6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies have spread and are golden. Cookies will still be quite soft when you remove them from the oven. Allow them to cool at least 10 minutes before attempting to move them to a cooling wrack or a plate.

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    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

    Happy holidays! Hoping everyone is having a beautiful day, where ever you are and whatever you are up to. We’re taking it easy, with no fancy plans, aside from maybe making a fresh batch of eggnog. I am so thankful to have a break from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the year — time to slow down, get outside (fingers crossed for some warmer weather later this week! 🤞), and even some creative recipe development without the time constraints of the normal work week (been working on lots of videos! Check out this one for homemade loose leaf chai! Also still trying to use up all of the spaghetti squash harvest from the garden). And, eating these gluten-free chocolate pecan thumbprint cookies!

    These cookies.

    Just almond flour, honey, butter, salt and baking soda combine to make a surprisingly soft but sturdy and satisfying cookie, something I discovered when I made these Paleo chocolate vanilla pinwheel cookies two years ago (2016 seems like so long ago! We had just moved into our house, I remember rolling out the cookie dough next to the wall between our kitchen and dining table. Just a few weeks later, we removed the wall and the house looks about 1,000x better! But I digress...)

    Thumbprint cookies — a Swedish treat traditionally made with a raspberry filling - have always looked festive to me. When filled with raspberry jam, they gleam in the light like little gems. But raspberry is a very summery flavor, and my inner chocoholic screamed “ganache!!” and I gave in easily, filling each with a melted 85% Dark Chocolate Lindt Bar.

    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

    The result is similar to those chocolate kiss-topped peanut butter cookies we’ve all had at many a Christmas party, but with more delicate flavors. Toasted pecans with chocolate is an unparalleled combo in desserts in my book, one that fills your kitchen with the smells of caramelly nuts and fruity cacao scent.

    The cookie dough in this recipe is fairly flexible when it comes to flour. I tested using 1/2 cup gluten-free measure for measure flour (King Arthur flour) in place of 1/2 cup of almond flour and the result was almost the same as using all almond flour. That’s not to say I’ve tested everything! But I’m confident you’ll love these. The dough will crack a bit when you go to make the thumbprints, but that doesn’t impact the cookie much. We’re not going for perfect here — once you add the chocolate and the pecans, they’ll look (and be) absolutely delicious!

    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

    Published December 25, 2018 by
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    Yield: 15   |    Active Time: 40 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • For the filling:
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (or a chopped up dark chocolate bar)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
    2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda and whisk briefly to combine.
    3. Add melted oil/butter, honey, and vanilla and stir dough with a spatula until a stiff dough forms.
    4. Shape cookies: scoop cookie dough by the tablespoonful into the palm of your hand. Shape into a sphere, and then place on a prepared cookie sheet. Using a smaller spoon or you thumb, make an indent in the center of the cookie. The dough may crack a bit around the edges, which is fine; if you like, you can carefully press it together with your fingers.
    5. Repeat step 4 until all of the dough is used. Leave at least 1/2 inch between each cookie on the baking sheet.
    6. Place cookies in oven on middle rack and bake for 10-13 minutes. Cookies should be golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
    7. While cookies cool, make the filling. Melt chocolate and 1 tablespoon butter/oil in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave by heating at 30-second intervals, stirring between each round, or in a double boiler.
    8. When cookies have cooled enough to be easily handled, carefully spoon chocolate into the center of each, and place a single pecan half in the center of each. Allow chocolate to set for 10-15 minutes, and then serve or store in an air-tight contain for a week.

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    Grain-Free Sandwich Cookies With Pumpkin Butter

    Grain-free sandwich cookies with pumpkin butter
    Grain-free sandwich cookies with pumpkin butter

    I have been on a kick, going back to old Foraged Dish recipes and taking new photos. It is insanely satisfying to compare the old ones to the new. Progress is difficult to measure day-by-day, but all of those days add up! I’m sure, in three years, I’ll look back at my photos from 2018 and roll my eyes. C'est la vie.

    These sandwich cookies were one of my recent victims, and since it is the season for baking and pumpkin, I thought it would be a good opportunity to update the whole post. That means a few updates to the recipe, too:

    • Simplified. (Can I get a hoorah?) The original asked for both almond flour and coconut flour, but since 2015 I’ve discovered a much simpler grain-free shortbread cookie using just almond flour. I quite like the texture of the cookies, too! They are a bit chewy, stay together well, and have great almond and honey flavor.

    • Drizzled with chocolate. How can you make a boring cookie look a little fancier? Maybe you’re thinking frosting, which is true, but since this cookie is a sandwich I wanted the filling to shine. I drizzled each cookie with chocolate, which was just the right touch!

    • Doubled it. More is better right? In this case, there’s no doubt: the original recipe made about 6 sandwich cookies… what was 2015-me thinking?!?! A dozen is much more reasonable (but you still may want to double that if you’re cooking for a crowd).

    Once baked, these cookies are stuffed with pumpkin butter, so the end result tastes a bit like pumpkin pie. Perfect match with a cappuccino! But I also experimented with filling the cookies with salted caramel. Oh. My. Goodness. Now that’s a treat! A bit like an alfajore, if you are familiar. I am definitely going to need to make an alfajore recipe now (Foraged Dish style, of course!).

    Grain-free sandwich cookies with pumpkin butter
    Grain-free sandwich cookies with pumpkin butter

    Grain-Free Sandwich Cookies with Pumpkin Butter

    Published October 26, 2015 by
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    Yield: 12-24, depending on size   |    Active Time: 60 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 2 cups finely ground almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin butter
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate

  • Directions:

    1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and baking soda. Whisk until incorporated. Add the melted butter or coconut oil, honey, and vanilla, and stir until a dough forms. Shape dough into a disc (about 1 inch thick), wrap in plastic wrap, and place in fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour to chill.
    2. Preheat oven to 325°F. After dough has chilled, remove from fridge. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit your baking pan.
    3. On a separate piece of parchment, use a rolling pin to roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut circles out of dough and place on baking sheet, with at least 1/2 inch between each cookie. Bake for 9 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool.
    4. Once cookies are fully cooled, spread pumpkin butter on one cookie, and then use another to create a sandwich. Set aside, and then continue until all of the cookies are sandwiched.
    5. Heat the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for 30-second intervals (string between each!) until chocolate is glossy and smooth. You can also do this in a double boiler (stir frequently). Drizzle melted chocolate over sandwich cookies. Allow chocolate to set before serving cookies.
    6. Tip: You can use any sort of jam to fill these cookies! I also made a few with salted caramel sauce and they were SO. GOOD.

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