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Sesame Cookies

sesame cookies paleo gluten-free recipe
These Sesame Cookies are yet another Passover friendly dessert recipe.

I wouldn’t necessarily have thought of making cookies with sesame. Why? Because I am surrounded by several choco-holics and bake primarily to their tastes. Let’s just say that the brownie recipe I posted a few weeks ago is still getting good play around here. My 10 year old son whips up a quick batch of these high-protein brownies almost every weekend.

Thankfully, I received the below a few weeks ago from reader Megan LaPrete, to open my eyes to additional baking horizons:

I would like to share with you this recipe for tahini cookies. They are not gluten free and they are loaded with sugar but I love them. I’d like to see if you could come up with something similar. I can’t wait to try your Sesame Truffles.

The lovely recipe Megan sent me is from epicurious.com, one of my favorite food sites. Below is my version, sans gluten and sugar.

Sesame Cookies

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  1. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda
  2. In a smaller bowl, blend together agave, tahini, oil and vanilla
  3. Blend the dry ingredients into the wet
  4. Form the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the sesame seeds
  5. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and flatten
  6. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes until lightly brown
  7. Cool on baking sheet
  8. Serve

Makes 14 cookies

If you like your cookies crunchy, leave them out after baking. If you are looking for cookies with a chewier center then store them in an airtight container.

What’s your favorite Passover dessert? And Gluten-Free Steve, how many will be at your Seder in Denver? Ours will be small this year thank goodness –probably 7 total.


posted on March 31, 2009, 60 comments

  1. Making Love In The Kitchen @ meghantelpnerblog.com

    These look so good. Going to add them to the Passover menu.

  2. Oh yum. They’re so cute and little too =)

  3. gfe-gluten free easily @ glutenfreeeasily.com

    These are so cute. They look like a sort of polka dot cookies. :-) I bet they are very tasty.

    Shirley

  4. I have baked tahini-honey cookies before and love drinking sesame milk made with raw tahini…People either love or hate its distinct flavor.
    Plus sesame is a very good source of calcium.
    I will definetly give these a try…

  5. Roberta

    I made your almond butter brownies. I must say we loved them but I made them just a little different so they are thick and fudgy. I put them in a 9×9 square pan, cooked them for 40 minutes. Take them out and let them sit about 45 min. Wow, they are the best! I thought the other way was good but more cake like. This way is really super decadent. Thanks for all your great recipes.

  6. Spring

    Wow.. Yummy
    it looks so good and healthy!
    i always try to make healthy cookies and this is it!!

  7. These sound delicious. I love sesame and find it even more interesting in a sweet dish. Might have to whip some of these up!

  8. Ok…I just baked some using dark agave syrup (the only one I had handy) and they didn’t come out very sweet. I think that the light agave syrup probably works best for this recipe.
    Has anybody ever tried the raw agave syrup?
    I bet it tastes even better…

  9. These cookies sound delicious, I love how the sesame seeds look!

  10. Lily

    These cookies are absolutely adorable speckled with tiny sesame seeds! I’ve been a reader of your blog for a while now, but this is my first time to comment. Kudos to you for creating such innovative healthy recipes. My favorite so far has been the raw “tapioca”– delicious. Keep up the great work and look forward to your next post!!

  11. Susie

    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes…..Where do you get your sesame seeds? I made your sesame crackers and I think I got cross contamination from the seeds I bought. Loved the Almond flour simple bread….

  12. StuffCooksWant @ stuffcookswant.com

    Just found you via TastyEatsAtHome (from Twitter). Your recipes look amazing…these cookies are too cute. I can’t wait to read more! Thanks for the ideas…new to GF and struggling a bit with some things like baked goods and breads.

  13. amy

    Love your site! I’m just starting out on paleo and am loving that you have so many almond flour desserts. Sorry if this isn’t the place for my question, but I didn’t see an email link, and I searched the site (including the forums and the FAQ’s) for what I’m looking for, and found nothing.

    What I would really love is a recipe for hamburger buns. Hubby and I can eat our burgers without buns, but the kids aren’t too keen on it. Do you have anything like that or see that as a possible recipe in the future?

  14. Rachel @ bb4wa.com

    It’s a cold, rainy day here in Moab, UT so I had to bake something to warm up my place. I made these cookies and I just can’t tell you how much I love them. I’m normally a chocolate chip cookie person, but these are indescribably delicious!!

    I did two things differently than your recipe. 1 – I had no sesame seeds so I left them out.

    2 – I baked them at 300 for 20 minutes and 350 for 10 more minutes. I’ve found that anything I cook with almond flour works best at these temps and times in my convection oven.

    Yum. Yum. Yum.

    Thank you, Elana!!

  15. Mom

    These are indeed yummy cookies. I couldn’t get my crisp but chewy is fine. I used a small scoop and got 36 cookies. They do spread and need space on the cookies sheet. After Passover, I’ll try these with peanut butter.

  16. Rachel @ bb4wa.com

    I used a tablespoon and each cookie was more than an inch and I still got 20 cookies. Even when I make the chocolate chip cookies with small scoops, I get twice as many as the recipe calls for. I often wonder why I get so much more even though I’m happy I do!

  17. Sally

    I made these cookies last night and they are fantastic! I subbed almond butter for the Tahini (didn’t have any and wanted to make them NOW) but followed the rest of the recipe to a T, including the use of Almond Flour from Honeyville Grain. You are so right – their almond flour is fantastic. I’ve been using Bob’s Red Mill but won’t be going back to it again. I will definitely be making these cookies again and may toy with different extracts. YUMMM!

  18. Marylyn

    I love these! Thanks :-) Here’s a photo of the sesame cookies overlooking NYC.

  19. Thanks for your comments everyone :-)

    Sally -Great comment and keep us posted on your adventures with these cookies!

  20. I tried these this past weekend. They turned out GREAT. And they remind me of that sesame treat halva. (But without all the sugar!)

    I am LOVING your website!

  21. Carol -They remind me of halva too. Thanks for your comment!

  22. Rachel @ bb4wa.com

    Elana, I’m trying to figure out why none of my baked goods works with the time and oven temps that you post. Could it be because I only have a convection oven which is making things cook slower? For these cookies, for instance, I am making them now and after the 350 degrees for 15 minutes, they are nowhere near done, so I put them back for another 15 minutes. I make these cookies every week and in the past have done them at 300 degrees for 25 minutes and they turned out fine. But this time I just thought I’d try your suggestions again to see if I missed something.

    • Hi Rachel, it could be a couple of things. I often find when people are having problems with their baked goods being underdone or runny that they are not using the recommended ingredients, so maybe that’s it. Another possibility could be that you’re using the convection instead of regular oven. Do you have only convection? I’m not sure how that would affect the recipes as I haven’t ever used convection for them. Might be a good topic to start in my forums. I hope this helps and please keep us in the loop as to how you progress!

  23. Rachel @ bb4wa.com

    These cookies have become my go-to treats ’cause they’re so easy to make. I just made a batch today as my son and dil are coming in from FL and my dil is GF, also. But this time I put a small amount of Wax Orchard Chocolate Fudge on top of them when they were done baking. Elana, have you ever used this? http://www.waxorchards.com/fudge.htm It is GF/sugar-free/dairy-free and only sweetened with fruit juice. It tastes amazingly rich and delicious.

  24. Elana — thank you so much for these recipes! I am gluten, yeast, and sugar-free & living in Paris. Finding things I can eat here is not easy, and your treats, which I have adapted to be sugar-free, have been very helpful to me.

    I wanted readers here to know that I adapted this recipe by adding an organic egg (I can do eggs in small amounts) and a teaspoon of ground stevia leaf, the green stuff, in place of the agave syrup and they came out very acceptable! I write “acceptable” as they were not very sweet, more savory with the stevia not being super-sweet in the amount I used, and I used unroasted sesame tahini, which has a slight bit of bitter bite to it when used in cookies. The bite remained after I first baked them (I had one after they had cooled about 10 minutes) but the ones that were left the following day (! not many were, lol) had mellowed with their bite somewhat. Either that or my tastebuds became immune to it with each subsequent cookie.

    I’m hoping to try these again using maple syrup as I will be experimenting with my tolerance to it next, and I have a feeling they will be even better, but if there is anyone out there who needs to stay totally sugar-free (no sucrose, fructose, etc.), these do bake up all right using a teaspoon of stevia leaf and an egg!

    I’m just now writing a post at my gluten-free Paris living blog now (linked with my name above) where I will include the link to your recipe and have a photo of my results!

    I found myself eating these for breakfast, lol, over the two days they lasted, BTW!

  25. Oh and yes, I forgot. I used toasted sesame oil in place of the grapeseed oil, too, as I am not sure if I can even find grapeseed oil here (I have not seen it so far, but that is in part as I don’t know what it is called in French). The sesame oil worked well, too, and in the same amount as is called for in the version posted here.

  26. Delicious! Would recommend doubling the recipe if you’re taking them to a party or seder dinner, the quantities here only made about two dozen small cookies. Thank you!

  27. Lydia

    THESE ARE SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. I LOVE these cookies! I have made them a dozen times now and have taken to replacing the agave with Maple syrup and also mixed in black sesame seeds with the regular sesame seeds to add some colour!

  29. I love these cookies! I have made them once with agave and another time with brown rice syrup in the same quantity and they came out great!

  30. Hagar

    It was late, kitchen urgently low on resources. Wondered if I could substitute some ingredients and have some fun. Boy was I delighted to find a grape seed oil/agave nectar cookie recipe, and one with sesames!! My grandmother makes these slightly salty, slightly sweet sesame cookies. This seemed pretty close. Like Karin – I used toasted sesame oil, but that was instead of tahini. I used dark agave nectar. Turned out a tad too salty, but mildly sweet – just the way I like.

    Thank you for making my evening fun and yummy!

  31. Raquel of Galilee

    Elana,
    You make it so easy to make these professional looking cookies that taste better than any cookie that I have *ever* tasted.

    I baked them for the first time on Friday, so I’d have something gluten free to sweeten my weekend. The result surprised me! You did me proud! Thank you for this wonderful recipe. It’s definitaly a keeper.

  32. milee

    I made these cookies, they are very easy to make. However removing from the parchment paper was a nightmare. Instead of agave I used maple syrup and instead of grapeseed oil I used coconut oil. I made my almond flour at home.

  33. Susan

    I just wanted to tell you, I made the Sesame Cookies last night for my husband & I to enjoy with coffee. My girls who said they are not crazy about sesame seeds tried them and loved them!! Thank you so much for all your recipes! I also regularly make the gluten free sandwich bread for my daughter, she cannot have gluten or dairy and a few other things so she is very thankful for your recipes! Love them. Oh, yes, I made the Sesame cookies using molasses instead of the agave nectar and I added 2 tbsp. of sucanat to the dry mix, they taste wonderful. Thank you, Thank you!!

  34. Mollie TheAlmondFlower @ thealmondflower.com

    Hi Elana,

    I wanted to share another sesame seed cookie recipe with you. It began with your recipe for sesame crackers and turned into sweet cookies. But they’re tasty!

    http://www.thealmondflower.com/2011/03/sesame-seed-cookies.html

    I can’t wait to try your version, yum.

    Mollie

  35. I’ve made these cookies a couple of times and people just RAVE about them. Many people say these are the most delicious cookies they’ve ever had and demand the recipe. Thanks so much for sharing. If you have other sesame seed recipes, I’d love to have them.

  36. Kobi

    These cookies are a HUGE HIT at my house! I used TJ’s unblanched flour…

  37. These were delicious! I made some substitutions based on what I had and loved the end result. I posted my adapted recipe on my blog: http://kamisniche.blogspot.com. Thank you for all of the wonderful recipes!

  38. Linda Collier @ eptworks.com

    Great recipe! Love the savory soft cookie!

  39. Meghan @ Making Love In the Kitchen @ meghantelpnerblog.com

    What sweet, sweet little cookies! Just love them!

  40. Wow, these were so so good! I had them once, now twice and can’t believe healthy can taste so delicious! Thanks for this alternative to the fat-&-sugar-laden, gluten-filled cookies!

  41. mandakini

    Love the cookies. The sweetness level is perfect! But mine are not crisping up. I would love a little bite to them. What can I do? Or what am I doing wrong? Thank you so much for this wonderful website!

  42. Loved these cookies! Going gluten-free makes finding decent cookies difficult and coconut flour needs so many eggs. I used honey not agave in the same amount and did have to lower the temp as they browned fairly quickly.
    Thanks so much for all your wonderful recipes!

  43. Marni L

    I have been looking for foods with calcium and sesame seeds are a great source, which in my google search led me to this recipe. Just made these this morning, and they turned out awesome! Thank-you for such a great recipe!

  44. Rennie

    I just baked these and they are SO delicious! Mine came out very chewy, which I liked. I am thinking about trying them with almond butter in place of tahini for variation, though they are scrumptious as written.

  45. Heather J

    Thumbs up for these cookies!. I used (cheaper) blanched almond meal instead of almond flour and they still looked just like the photo. I used honey instead of agave because tahini + honey is the best combo. I got 15 cookies, using a cookie scoop. Good stuff!

  46. Hi Elana !
    I made the cookies but instead of AGAVE I put dates honey and instead of the oil I put coconut oil.
    it was delicious !
    thanks :)

  47. San

    These are wonderful. I successfully substituted maple syrup for the agave. I made them three times now. Mine take about 14 minutes to bake. Thanks!!!

  48. Sarah

    This recipe looks fantastic, as does everything on your site. I’m completely sugar-free, only using stevia, xylitol, and occasionally dates. I haven’t been sure how to substitute for the wet sweeteners like honey and agave, basically staying away from recipes that have them. Any advice?

  49. Cara

    Can you sub the almond flour in these recipes for either all purpose gluten free flour or coconut? I know that means its not paleo anymore but these recipes all look so yummy but I have a little one with almond sensitivity!

  50. You say above that this recipe is NOT gluten free.

    Where’s the gluten in it?

  51. Heather H

    Hi Alana, I love your site and this recipe does look delish! However, I have to take exception with calling these Paleo as well as many of your other “Paleo” recipes. While there is depth and breadth on what is Paleo or Primal and how people adapt the diet to their lifestyle, it is clear that sugar is not Paleo at all, especially agave which is simply demonized in the paleo/primal community for it’s fructose content and processing. Honey is reserved for minimal use as would have been done in nature originally (as an example one of your readers above posted a link to their own recipe using 3 TBSP honey, not 1/3 cup).

    I really do enjoy your site recipes and dedication to gluten free, I sometimes use them for the rare sweet treat though I need to substitute to make them as Paleo as possible. I worry that your labeling is misleading and potentially confusing to those starting out on their Paleo & Primal journey and they will misinterpret that indulging with this level of sugar is OK (and yes agave and honey are sugar).

    • Heather H

      I’d also like to add that grapeseed oil is also not paleo, only unrefined coconut, red palm, evoo, avocado and some nut oils are paleo. No seed oil is Paleoat all. Seeds in general to be eaten minimally or not at all.

    • El Robusto

      And I would like to take exception with your free use of the English language; to wit, the possessive form of it has no apostrophe. If you happen to create a grain free bread recipe half as good as Elana’s, perhaps then we can take your points to heart.

  52. sally

    Wonderful recipe I only subbed natural peanut butter for tahini because we’d run out. Oh and almond meal worked fine. Used a bit less honey and they are plenty sweet and easy enough for the kids to help make. I got exactly fourteen. Thank you for another wonderful recipe. Looking forward to trying them with tahini too. :)

  53. I made these yesterday and so yummy!! I used maple syrup instead of agave. And mixed a little spelt flour with the almond meal..(we are not gluten free, or Paleo)
    I am wondering how long they should be good for? Not that there are any left but
    next time I make them I want to double the recipe if they will last.
    Will they?

  54. Dalida

    I made this recipe and it turned out EXACTLY the way I imagined it to be based on the photo. Simply PERFECT! Very satisfying. Thanks very much for the recipe!!!

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Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top