What is it about cookies that makes them so irresistible? For me, it’s their simplicity. Just a few ingredients thrown together to make a delicious treat. I could bake a batch of cookies every day, that’s how much I love cookies. Last Saturday, despite the hot weather, I turned on my oven to bake a batch of cookies. I didn’t know what cookies I was about to bake, and luckily it was nice and cool in my kitchen!
During the past several months, I haven’t baked too many cookies, or too many desserts, at all. The Elimination Diet protocol that I followed removed nearly all grains and all nuts from my diet. Luckily, I was still able to bake and enjoy my Cinnamon-Spiced Chocolate Chip Tigernut Cookies, since they are grain-free. Otherwise, I kept my baking to a minimum and dreamt of the cookie flavors that I would bake once finished with the reintroduction phase.
I had a few ingredients in mind that I wanted to use. Strawberries, which I had diced and frozen the night before, were begging to be put into a cookie dough. Oats, one of my favorite gluten-free grains, were to be the base of the cookie. Tahini. Wait, tahini, in a cookie dough? Yes, I wanted to use tahini in a cookie. And chocolate, because I rarely make a cookie recipe without chocolate.
Overthinking a cookie recipe is never a good thing to do. Once I had the ingredients in front of me, all that I needed to do was combine them in a sensible way. I chose dried Calmyrna figs as the ingredient that would help hold all of the other ingredients together. I’ve been a fig connoisseur for many years – they’re my favorite dried fruit, with the perfect blend of sweetness and stickiness. I threw a ripe banana into the mixture, more for additional sweetness than for any other reason. The wet ingredients get blended together in the food processor, then combined with the few dry ingredients. The mini chocolate chips and frozen pieces of strawberries get folded in right before the cookie dough is rolled into balls and baked.
I waited patiently while my cookies baked. I didn’t wait nearly as patiently while they cooled. In fact, I ate one within minutes of pulling the baking sheet from the oven! The gooey chocolate and oozing strawberries were all that I needed to taste to know that this scrapped-together cookie recipe was a keeper.
Do yourself a favor and bake these cookies for the weekend, while strawberries are still fresh in-season. Maybe bake two batches, because one definitely won’t be enough!
Tahini, Oat & Chocolate-Chip Cookies
Ingredients: (use organic whenever possible)
I C diced strawberries (roughly 1/2-inch)
1 C dried Calmyrna figs, chopped
1 ripe banana
1/3 C Soom tahini
1 t vanilla extract
1 C oats (gluten-free)
1/4 C oat flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t sea salt
1/4 C mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand)
At least 3 hours prior to making the cookies, freeze the diced strawberries on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure that the strawberries are not crowded, so they can freeze as individual pieces.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
To the bowl of a food processor, add the chopped figs, banana, tahini and vanilla extract. Blend until the mixture is smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the edges of the bowl. Remove the mixture to a large bowl.
In a small mixing bowl, mix together the oats, oat flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the fig-tahini mixture and stir to combine. Add the chocolate chips and the frozen diced strawberries and gently fold into the dough.
Using damp hands, carefully roll the dough into 18 balls. Work quickly, so that the strawberries don’t thaw and become juicy! Place the dough onto the prepared baking sheet and press-down slightly. Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for 10 minutes. Place the cookies on a wire rack to continue to cool to room temperature.
Store cookies in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.
Recipe yields 18 cookies
Cookies can be kept chilled, in the refrigerator, for 3-4 days or frozen for several weeks
Substitute your favorite dried fruit for the strawberries, if desired
Soom Foods generously sent me their Tahini. Opinions are all my own.