Tahini Pistachio Cookies
July 22, 2014 § 2 Comments
Lately, I’ve been trying to workout in the mornings, which at least for me, requires some sort of light snack beforehand. Lest you think this is a post about how virtuous I am, I have found that it’s best to precede my morning workout with some sort of cookie.
The last couple of weeks it’s been these cookies, which are made with almond flour, but I just finished my last one out of the freezer and I needed a replacement. I find that cookies packed with nuts and nut flours are a great pre-workout snack because they have some protein in addition to carbs. I am certifiably NOT a nutritionist, but Tara Parker Pope of the New York Times’ Well blog says a mixture of carbs and protein matters, and I find her very trustworthy. Plus, it’s a lot easier to roll out of bed for a workout when a cookie is first on the agenda.
(FYI, I tried to look up some stuff for you about the health benefits of almond flour, and guys, its a scary world out there on the internet in terms of nutrition information. There are apparently differing, and quite strong, opinions about almond flour, so I backed off.)
Anyway, back to the cookies. It turns out the July issue of Bon Appetit is the gift that keeps on giving. I got the inspiration for my farmers market tabbouleh salad from that issue, and in this article I read for the first time that tahini can be used in baked goods. I was immediately interested in that idea.
I did some searching and found these honey tahini cookies from Food and Wine. These cookies also called for almond flour just like my beloved biscotti, and the tahini would provide some additional protein. I don’t like my pre-workout cookies to be too sweet, and these had only a moderate amount of honey as the sweetener. When I read in the head notes of the recipe that these cookies taste sort of like peanut butter cookies, I practically ran home from work to start making them.
The original recipe calls for the cookies to be rolled in sesame seeds. I was out of sesame seeds because I had just made a batch of this seed and nut granola (I know, I know, I strayed from my every morning granola, but this one is really good too!). I did have plenty of pistachios, which seemed like a good replacement.
These cookies have a Middle Eastern and/or Mediterranean origin depending on who you ask, so pistachios seemed like they could bring them into the baklava arena! I ground up the pistachios in my food processor until they were finely chopped but still had a bit of texture, and rolled my cookies in that instead.
I LOVE these cookies. They are are salty and slightly sweet, have a nice crunch to them, and the tahini does give them a sort of peanut butter flavor. They were also so easy, and can be a total pantry recipe if you keep some almond flour from Trader Joe’s in your freezer. Mission replenish-pre-workout-cookie-stash accomplished!
Tahini Pistachio Cookies
- Servings: 16-18 cookies (see note below)
Adapted slightly from Food and Wine
Note: I got way fewer cookies out of this recipe than it predicts (17 compared to 30) and I had to bake them longer. I think I made them bigger than the recipe calls for, and my almond flour from Trader Joe’s seemed to be a coarser blend, which may have impacted how the dough came together. I found the dough a bit chunky, so it was hard to form very small cookies. Nonetheless, they were still delicious, I just wish I had gotten 30 cookies for my freezer stash! If you need more cookies and have a coarser almond flour, consider making a double batch.
1/3 cup hulled pistachios (this should leave you with a bit more than you need. If you want to be more careful with your pistachio stash, start with less and blend up more if you need it)
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup tahini (make sure to stir it well before measuring from the jar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet or two (I only needed one) with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, pulse the pistachios until you have a coarse grind. You want there to be some texture, but no huge pieces of pistachios remaining. Place the pistachios on a large dinner plate or pie plate. You need something wide enough so you can easily roll the cookies around in the pistachios.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking soda and salt.
- In a large bowl, stir together the honey, tahini, and vanilla until well combined.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until they are thoroughly mixed and a chunky dough forms.
- Scoop out a teaspoon size amount of dough, form it into a ball with your hands, and roll it in the pistachios.
- Place the cookie on the parchment lined baking sheet and press down on it to flatten it.
- Sprinkle a bit more pistachios on top and press the pistachios into the dough with your fingers.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
- Bake for 8 minutes up to 16 minutes (rotating the baking sheet(s) every four minutes), until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom and seem sturdy enough that you could move them to a cooling rack.
- Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.
- Store the cookies in the freezer or in an airtight container (but they will only last overnight this way).