I am a taste tester. Whenever I am in the kitchen you will find me with drips of chocolate on my face, smears of cookie dough on my t-shirt or apron, and a spoon (or clean fingers) deep in the bowl of whatever I happen to be cooking. I don’t try to pretend this doesn’t happen with nearly everything I cook. I blame my mother, in the nicest possible way, for this trait. She too, is a taster. Always willing to take a chocolate cake batter covered spoon off your hands, or to take a tester spoon of frosting to tell you whether the flavour is correct. She encouraged me (love you Mum!), so really my cookie dough addiction is her fault…
I suppose this goes right along with the fact that it is near impossible for me to follow a recipe to the tee. I constantly fiddle with the amounts of ingredients, or substitute one thing for another. I think it’s the former food science student in me. And when testing, one must taste. In the lab, not so much, but here in the laboratory of my kitchen all is well and good, and tasty.
These cookies barely made it to the oven. A baking session after a run often means heavy taste testing is imminent and these were no exception. I know many people worry about eating raw eggs but I am not in that boat: I buy local, free range eggs and I have a strong healthy immune system, and with these Tahini and Peanut Butter Cookies one needn’t worry anyway as they are gluten, dairy, and egg free – but never fear, they are not tasteless. I didn’t set out to create a multi-allergy friendly cookie. I was just seeking comfort on a Thursday night and happened across a vegan, gluten free cookie that tasted awesome. You can taste the tahini here, not in an obnoxious way, but in an earthy slightly salty, seedy undertone to the peanut butter sweetness. They are similar to shortbread in texture and small so that one should really have a few on the side of a saucer, a lonely biscuit will not be satisfactory. I tested the dough while I was making dinner. It was as hard to resist as Mum’s linzertorte dough (it’s the almond meal). I knew that I had something small, simple, and special from the first taste test.
And then I added chocolate. Just to be sure. And yes, I taste tested that before it went on the cookies too.
Tahini and Peanut Butter Cookies
Gluten free | Vegan | Dairy Free | Egg Free
Use dairy free chocolate if necessary. Whitman’s Fair Trade Dark Ghana is my choice.
Makes approximately 18-20 cookies
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup tahini
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup peanut butter (I used chunky)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 80 grams almond meal
- 65 grams brown rice flour
- 1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line two cookie sheets with baking paper.
- Grind chia seeds in a morter and pestle or spice grinder.
- In a large bowl whisk together water and chia seeds. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes. It will thicken.
- Add sugar, tahini, olive oil, peanut butter and vanilla.
- Using a hand mixer on medium beat well until creamy.
- In a medium bowl whisk together almond meal, brown rice flour, baking powder, and cinnamon.
- Add dry ingredients to batter and beat until just combined.
- Roll two teaspoons of dough into balls and place on prepared cookie sheets. Leave space between for slight spreading. Press down lightly on top with fingertips.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned on top.
- Do not try and move these cookies immediately after baking. They will be very crumbly. Allow to cool completely on baking tray.
- Place chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and melt by heating in 10 second intervals and stirring in between. Once chocolate is melted and smooth drizzle/pipe over cooled cookies.
- Allow chocolate to set before storing cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Tell me, dear reader, are you a taste tester? Did you get it from your Mum or Dad?