Salted Tahini & Chocolate Cookies 

  
You know those decadent 3 (4 or 5) ingredient peanut butter cookies that have been traversing the internet and cookbooks for several years, the ones that became the mainstay of gluten free offerings in hip neighborhood bakeries everywhere (never mind most of us with Celiac can’t eat peanuts)? I used to bake them as extra large cookie sandwiches; spread with a thick middle layer of decadent chocolate ganache. We couldn’t keep them in the shop, people would phone ahead and reserve. The classic peanut butter and chocolate combination we all (North Americans) seem to crave. I read about Ovenly’s variation on the recipe in Smitten Kitchen and, really, WHY can’t I have those? (Oh so many reasons, but nuts in general). 

Smitten Kitchen is powerful magic, puts thoughts in your head buzzing like a fly you can’t get rid of. I needed cookies. And I can eat sunflower seed butter and, oh yes, TAHINI. and while I was at it why not throw in some raw cocoa? And here you go. Not anything at all like chocolate laced halvah, but kind of reminiscent. 
According to my quick internet search sesame seeds were originally cultivated around 3,500 years ago just for their oil. Tahini is lower in sugar and saturated fat and higher in fiber than peanut butter (and that’s impressive since peanuts are actually a legume) and was introduced to American health food stores in 1940. I mention this because I made batches of these cookies with two different tahini, and got vastly differing results. Sometimes there is an abundant oil to solids ratio depending on the brand or even within the same brand, due to this we will never get a tahini as thick as peanut or almond butters, and this can affect our cookies. 

The tale of fraternal Cookies.  

Find a tahini that is not too terribly runny, one that stays emulsified for a while after stirring and accept that oil will spread out of these cookies as soon as you begin spooning them on to parchment covered baking sheets (and definitely use parchment). You will be rewarded with tahini and chocolate cookies with a candy-like crunch and supremely gratifying chewiness and may have to hide them. 

  
Salted Tahini Chocolate Cookies 

Makes 24 

Requires 30 minutes freezing time before baking. 

1-1/2 cups well stirred tahini

2 eggs, whisked

1-1/2 cup coconut sugar 

1/4 cup raw cocoa powder

1 tsp real vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt (unless tahini is salted) 

Maldon flaked salt for topping 

Method: 

Using a stand or hand mixer whip all the ingredients together to thoroughly blend. Do this by hand if you must, make sure it’s all incorporated. 

Place the dough in your freezer, you may need to transfer it to a smaller bowl. 

Ready two baking sheets with parchment paper. Pre-heat oven to 350*

Remove dough, you may see oil beginning to pool, don’t worry. 

Scoop dough into tablespoon sized rounds, using a measuring spoon or scoop, try to leave the oils behind. Place evenly on baking sheets. 

Bake 10 minutes then rotate sheets (bottom to top racks and front to back). Bake an additional 6-8 minutes. They may spread, sort of like lace cookies, there may be pools of oil, ignore it. 

Remove and let cool completely before eating. Okay, eat one, but it will fall apart. 

Chewy Decadence paleo and celiac safe. 
Noteworthy: 

Make sure the tahini is thoroughly stirred before measuring out 1-1/2 cups; the thinner the tahini the oozier the cooky.

Using regular or brown sugar will change the overall texture, not bad, just different. 

Sure, try regular cocoa powder. I just use raw. 

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Grain Free Banana Muffins.

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What I made this weekend.

Once we start the process of eliminating foods based on allergy, intolerance, sensitivity or auto-immune reasons (as in Celiac Disease) it can become a never ending spiral, a rabbit warren of dead ends and frustrations brimming with tears. Now that grain free and gluten free have become ‘fads’ this has created a non-stop flow of GF processed food stuff. Maybe you didn’t bake before going GF and you love all the new food stuff on the market. But have you read the ingredients? Okay, maybe we don’t need the conversation about corn products right now (xanthan gum, corn starch..).
I say to you Do Not Be Swayed! Purchase some gluten (grain) free flours and a few other pantry staples and enjoy the freedom of knowing what is in that muffin you’re about to eat, and knowing it is the best thing you can do for your sensitive self. Go ahead and earn your bragging rights! This one is simple.

This recipe can be used as a base for other fruit purees such as pumpkin or applesauce.

Grain Free {Banana} Muffins

Pre-heat oven to 350*. Oil a muffin tin.

Wet: Beat together in a small bowl

3 very ripe bananas mashed (equal to 1 cup or a little more)
1/2 cup coconut oil melted
2 eggs beaten

Dry: whisk together in a medium bowl

1 cup cashew (or almond) meal
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour (starch)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1tsp baking soda
1tsp salt
2tbsp flax meal
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom

Mix the wet ingredients in to the dry making sure the batter is mixed thoroughly. Then scoop even amounts into the muffin tin. This will make 10-12, depending on how full you want them. They will rise slightly.

Bake for 30-35 min until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in to the top of a muffin.

Add raisins or other dried fruit and nuts as you wish. Change up the spices, add ginger or ‘pumpkin pie’ seasoning.