How to make healthy choices every day

Grain-free Holiday Tahini Cookies, 2-ways + A Gift Guide

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!



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


Drink mixes

Big Batch Golden Milk

Superfood Haute Chocolate

Masala Chai

Things in jars

Infused Syrup Gift Jars

Party Nut Butter

Simple Gourmet Granola

Chunky Chocolate Buckwheat Granola

Maple Cinnamon Grain-Free Granola


Spice blends

Za’atar Spice Blend 

Everything Bagel Spice Blend

Dukkah Spice Blend


46 thoughts on “Grain-free Holiday Tahini Cookies, 2-ways + A Gift Guide”

  • This is a perfect recipe to learn some of the basics of the science of baking because with cookies it’s so easy to see how different both cookies, I have tried both recipes my kids are crazy for having these cookies, Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  • Made the molasses version and they were AMAZING. Best texture ever. But a bit intense for my kids so have a chocolate version in the oven now. The only strange thing is I ended up having to bake them upwards of 30 mins. Also the dough wasn’t at all stiff, I even added some coconut flour to try and stiffen them a bit but didn’t help. Anyway they are incredible and i will be making them many more times. Thank you!

    • So happy to hear that you loved them–I love the texture too! Tahini differs so much brand to brand so maybe that contributed to the consistency strangeness? Hope the chocolate turned out beautifully for everyone to enjoy.

  • I made this recipe and really loved the cookies. So I decided to make them again, but this time I want to freeze them. Is this possible, and if so, do you know how long they can stay in the freezer? Thanks, Eftychia

    • Hi there!

      Yes, you can definitely freeze these, up to three months in a sealed container 🙂 So glad you enjoyed them!

      Sarah B

  • I made these cookies today and they were beyond delicious. The maple syrup with the tahini created such a nutty, rich and complex flavor. Plus the almond flour added a nice “chewy” inside with crispy edges! These are my new go-to. I ended up eating four of them, no shame. (LOL!)


  • I have made both varieties, and they are both wonderful! I just made the molasses ones again. I could really just eat the cookie dough without ever baking them.

  • These cookies are wonderful! I’ve made both varieties and they are both my favorite. I just have to work on my self-control. The cookies are small, so I’ll just have another. And they are healthy, so no problem. Oops! They are all gone, so I have to make more…

  • I would devour these cookies in a heartbeat! But I am totally with you on dessert–if I don’t have a set post-dinner treat, I end up grazing on granola, Medjool dates, cereal, kettle corn, pretty much anything like that (though kettle corn and cereal are my desserts sometimes!)! It’s NOT good, I tell you. Tahini and molasses actually sound like a delightful combination. Seasonal, nutty, and rich? Can’t go wrong with that!

  • Wow these are gorgeous! I used to love Halva with sultanas so I made them with no spices, just the salt and pepper and added sultanas. My grain free cousin loved them too.

    Looking forward to experimenting further..

  • ok. I have two questions 🙂 First: I don’t have molasses, can I use just maple syrup instead? Or maybe some other sweetener? And teh second question: can I substitute tahini with white almond butter? Thanks! :*

  • That swirl of chocolate and tahini is absolutely sublime! These cookies are probably irresistible–you can never go wrong with some deliciously flavorful cookies!

  • Hi Sarah, been so excited to try this recipe – tried the molasses ones so far and the flavor is incredible! The only strange thing was that they kept their form completely – the before and after baking looked the same. Was my dough somehow too dry? (consistency of Play Dough) The recipe says it was a thick dough so I wasn’t concerned until afterwards when they didn’t look like your photos.
    In any case, thanks so much – your recipes and outlook on food inspires me literally every day. Happy holidays!

    • Hello Cynthia!

      SO glad you got to try the cookies. And your dough wasn’t too dry – it sounds prefect, actually! Remember that in the instructions it says to flatten the cookies a bit…if you didn’t, then the cookies will remain as a ball. Let me know!

      xo, Sarah B

  • Hello Sarah, they taste amazing but the dough is soooo sticky. Was it very sticky when you made them? Maybe I put it in the fridge fir an hour before trying to form cookies next time? Thank you

    • Hello Heidrun!

      My dough wasn’t *that* sticky…it helps to wet your hands first if it’s too sticky to work with. I hope that helps!

      Sarah B

  • Hi! Do you know if these would still work with AP flour? I`m not gluten free and was hoping to make these with ingredients I already have on hand.
    Thanks a bunch!

    • Hello Karly,

      You could definitely try, but you will probably have to adjust the moisture levels in some way, since the almond flour really keeps thing moist (and AP flour may absorb a lot…). Start with less than 2 cups and check the consistency of the dough before adding the full amount. I hope it works out for you! Keep us posted 😉

      xo, Sarah B

  • Hi Sarah,

    These cookies sound lovely. I opened a new tahini and it is very bitter. Expiration date is still good and smells ok. Woodstock organic brand. It the bitterness normal? At what point has the tahini gone rancid?

    Thank you

    • Hi Bridget,

      Yes, tahini IS often very bitter. I’m sure it’s fine – trust your gut though! The bitterness will also dissipate during baking. I hope you enjoy the cookies!

      xo, Sarah B

  • Hi Sarah! Do you happen to have weighted measurements for these ingredients? I made the ginger molasses cookies and the texture was amazing and they look so gorgeous!! But I was so sad that they were overly salty.. wondering if my measurements were off? It was hard to be precise with the wet ingredients as they are all sticky 🙂 Also unsure if to pack in the almond flour or not when measuring? I’m excited to gift these for Christmas…Thank you so much!! :):)

    • Hello Lauren,

      Oh bummer! So sorry to hear that :{ Are you using actual measuring spoons or eating spoons for this? That can make a HUGE difference. Also, make sure for this that you’re using FLAKY salt (like Maldon) and not fine sea salt. That also makes a huge difference. I just measured my 1/2 tsp. Maldon and it doesn’t even register on my scale (that’s how little it is). So I can’t give you a weight measure, but if you make them again, ensure that you’re using measuring spoons and the correct type of salt. I hope that helps!

      Happy holidays,
      Sarah B

  • I made these both tonight. They came together so quickly and easily, and they’re delicious. The texture is really nice; I love a good soft and chewy cookie. The molasses ones are intense, almost savory, and the orange spice cookies have an interesting floral flavor from the orange zest that’s grounded by the earthy tahini. A wonderful complement to one another—I’m glad i made both.

    • Hello Evan,

      I am sooo thrilled they worked out for you! I agree, the molasses ones are intense and savoury! I personally love them, but I know that molasses is a divisive flavour 🙂 Enjoy them, and happy holidays!

      xo, Sarah B

  • Hi Sarah,

    I made these yesterday – they are wonderful . Thank you for the recipe. However I wondered how you managed to get 20 cookies from the mixture , using a tablespoon and a half of raw mixture for each cookie. I used a tablespoon (or even slightly less) and ended up with only 15 cookies.

    • Hi Alicia,

      Haha, I have NO idea! That is strange, but if you want more next time, I guess make them smaller 🙂 Sorry for the discrepancy!Glad you liked the flavour anyway…

      xo, Sarah B

    • Hi Grace,

      Here are some suggestions I found online, but I haven’t tried any of these so cannot guarantee the end result 🙂 Good luck!

      1/3 – 1/4 cup coconut flour. * Increase amount of liquid as this flour absorbs a lot of moisture.
      1/2 cup buckwheat/spelt flour + 1/2 cup all-purpose flour. *May have to add more liquid.
      2/3 cup oats flour + 1/2 cup all-purpose flour.
      1/2 cup quinoa flour + 1/2 cup wheat/ all-purpose flour. * Increase quantity of both eggs (or subs) and baking powder.
      3/4 cup chickpea flour (gazpacho flour /besan). * May have add extra sweetener to avoid nutty taste.

      • Wow this recipe looks amazing, Sarah! I’m also allergic to almonds and was wondering if it might work with hazelnut flour (I love hazelnuts ^^); what do you think?

  • Dear Sarah,
    I would like to ask what is the difference between almond flour and almond meal?
    I asked at my grocery store (in France) and they replied they don’t know, because almond is so fatty they think you can’t have almond flour. Unless you remove some fat, which would make it a transformed ingredient in some way.
    Thank you if you find time to answer!
    Happy Tasty Holiday!!

    • Hello Julia,

      Great question: the difference is that almond meal is a product of the entire almond, whereas almond flour has been made with the skins removed. Almond meal is very coarse, whereas almond flour is very fine. You can use them interchangeably, but anything baked with almond flour is going to be lighter and smoother than almond meal. I hope that helps!

      Happy tasty holiday to you too <3
      xo, Sarah B

      • Dear Sarah,
        I just saw your answer, thank you a lot, yes, it helps!
        I finally underestand!!

  • These look wonderful! What is the texture like? Some cookies,, need to cool completely before removing from the pan. Is that the case for these?

    • Hi Liz,

      Yes, these should cool completely before removing them from the baking sheet. I’ll add this to the instructions, thank you! And the texture is addictively dense and chewy. You can really sink your teeth into these!

      xo, Sarah B

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *