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  • Writer's pictureKelly

Healthy Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan, GF, Date-Sweetened, Nut-Free, Coconut-Free)

Awwww yeah! This cookie recipe is everything you could want in a dessert (and more). These cookies by far have to be the best ones I've ever made; not a single person who's tried them hasn't liked them! They're nut-free and coconut-free, 100% date-sweetened, and made with handcrafted semi-sweet chocolate (also date-sweetened). And as always they are vegan and gluten-free. Customers who have tried a different version of these cookies made with maple sugar and almond flour instead of date sugar and pumpkin seed flour even preferred the OG recipe (w/ dates and pumpkin seed flour) over the alternate version! That's how good these cookies are! And they are so simple to make: one-bowl, easy prep, quick, 10 min bake time, and the batter is as easy as mixing together all the ingredients together by hand, no food processor or machinery necessary! These cookies are sweet, wholesome, a lil salty, soft & chewy, and nutty (or should I say, seedy?) with the perfect ratio of homemade semi-sweet chocolate to cookie. Top with sesame seeds, coarse sea salt, and/or a drizzle of unsweetened tahini for the perfect cookie. So what are you waiting for?! Go make these cookies!



I'm back!! But more on that in the next post... Let's get to the good stuff!!


These cookies are THE cookies. Honestly, they are the single best cookie recipe that I've created thus far and can easily rival conventional, non-vegan, sugar-loaded cookies. They are amply sweet & a lil salty, soft yet chewy, thin & flat (for a perfect exterior), chocolatey & sesame-forward, and incredibly wholesome, satisfying, and comfort-food-esque (except, you don't have to feel guilty about this comfort food, or... comfort cookie?). Plus they are super healthy and allergy-friendly!


These cookies are beyond simple: mix everything in one bowl, fold in the chocolate, chill batter (if needed), and bake 10 minutes. Boom. Done. The most time-consuming part of this recipe is making the homemade date-sweetened semi-sweet chocolate, but tbh if you don't have the time/ingredients or don't want to put in the effort, you can use any ol' vegan chocolate chunks/chips/chopped chocolate bar (dark, semi-sweet, or plant milk) and that will work just fine. If you can't have refined sugar, choose a chopped 100% chocolate bar OR refined sugar free vegan chocolate chips (vegan dark chocolate chips sweetened w/ something like maple syrup or coconut sugar would be perfect, if you can have it). I bet unsweetened cacao nibs would work too. And ofc, if you have an easier vegan chocolate recipe than the one I use for these cookies, feel free to use that instead if you desire if you want to make your own chocolate for these cookies. But regardless of whichever kind of chocolate you make or buy, in terms of the type of chocolate you use, I recommend using dark, semi-sweet, or even (vegan) milk chocolate the first time you make this recipe and see how you like it before trying vegan white chocolate chips/chunks in these cookies.



What's you fav Dimpled Date cookie recipe? We've had many on The Dimpled Date, including:



And many, many others. In my honest opinion, these Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies top them all. Seriously. And that's saying something because my OG Chocolate Chip Cookies and Oatmeal Cookies are amazing. Try them for yourself, and tell us in the comments which Dimpled Date cookie is your favorite!



These cookies, as always, are 100% vegan, gluten-free, and date-sweetened, but this time around they're also completely nut-free and coconut-free. PLUS there's a secret ingredient in these cookies that makes them moist and extra healthy... mashed chickpeas! That's right. And trust me when I say you will not taste or feel them AT ALL. But, you can leave the chickpeas out if you prefer.


Have any cookie recipes you wanna see on The Dimpled Date? Like this post and leave your suggestion in the comments! It might just be the next big Dimpled Date recipe.


Wanna hear some new cookie recipes that I've been experimenting with? Read on! Some new cookies that I've been test-running in the Dimpled Date kitchen include:


  1. Healthy Red & Green Pressed Butter Cookies (Green: Matcha Pistachio Almond, Red: Cherry Beet Almond)

  2. 6-Ingredient Date-Sweetened Peanut Butter Cookies (w/ a Paleo Almond Butter Option)

  3. Paleo Pumpkin Hazelnut White Chocolate Chunk Cookies


... AND MORE!




Substitutions


For the cookies, the date sugar technically speaking can be substituted with maple sugar OR coconut sugar, but these sweeteners will make the cookies heavier and sweeter. You could also try using a granular sugar-free sweetener like Lakanto monk fruit sweetener OR Swerve if you need these cookies to be 100% sugar-free. Likewise, choose sugar-free dark chocolate chunks/chips/chopped chocolate for the chocolate. The vegan butter is tricky to substitute, but you can use whatever kind you want, such as Earth Balance or Miyoko's. Alternatively, you could *try* using softened coconut oil with mixed results, but this would mean the cookies would no longer be coconut-free. Possibly, using a neutral nut/seed butter in place of the vegan butter would work, such as raw cashew butter (if nuts are ok), raw pepita AKA pumpkin seed butter, etc. But I haven't tried substituting the vegan butter with nut/seed butter and can't guarantee good results. And keep in mind that using a nut/seed butter in place of the vegan butter may impart some of the flavor of that nut/seed and might overpower the tahini and other flavors in the cookies. Also, nut/seed butters like pumpkin seed butter are green and therefore would add a green color to the cookies.


The chickpeas are perfectly optional, but you can use chickpeas OR white beans of choice, either canned, drained, rinsed, & mashed or prepared, cooked, & mashed. The tahini is kinda key here (these are tahini chocolate chip cookies, aren't they?), but I understand that sesame is a big allergen or some people might not like the flavor of sesame. Or they might just not have tahini on hand. All of these scenarios are perfectly valid, and you can substitute the tahini with your raw nut or seed butter of choice, such as raw sunflower seed butter (AKA sunflower butter) OR raw pumpkin seed butter (AKA pepita butter) OR raw hempseed butter OR soy butter. And if nuts are OK any type of nut butter would work here too. I wouldn't recommend omitting the tahini, but if you want a plain chocolate chip cookie recipe, check out my Date-Sweetened Chocolate Chip Cookies (grain-free & sweetened w/ whole dates).


The pumpkin seed flour AKA pepita flour can be store-bought or homemade. To make from scratch, simply blend 1 to 1.5 cups raw unsalted pumpkin seeds (AKA pepitas) in a food processor, coffee grinder, or nut & spice grinder until powdered (but be careful not to over blend because it will turn into pumpkin seed butter fast!). Instead of pumpkin seed flour, you can use superfine blanched almond flour OR hazelnut flour OR sunflower seed flour OR tigernut flour. For the oat flour, you can substitute with additional pumpkin seed flour. The baking soda is the leavener/leavening agent in this recipe and therefore can't be substituted. The vanilla extract can be substituted with an equivalent amount of scraped vanilla bean, pure ground vanilla beans, OR sugar-free vanilla powder/paste/syrup. I don't recommend omitting the vanilla. The sea salt can be replaced with table salt.


As for the chocolate, I already gave some ideas in the post above, but really any vegan chocolate chips/chunks/chopped bar will work, homemade or store-bought, just make sure it's sugar-free if needed. 100% dark chocolate, vegan chocolate sweetened w/ maple syrup or coconut sugar, and stevia-sweetened dark chocolate are all great options. I recommend using dark, semi-sweet, or plant milk chocolate, as opposed to vegan white chocolate. If you want date-sweetened vegan chocolate, try my Date-Sweetened Dark Chocolate or Snappy Semi-Sweet Chocolate (this is the one I use in these cookies) (see recipe for both of these).


For sprinkling, I highly recommend coating the cookies in sesame seeds, a pinch of coarse sea salt, and/or a drizzle of tahini prior to baking, but try whatever garnishes you like!


Get creative with these cookies too! If you have a flavor or add-in you want to add to the batter, try it and let us know how it turned out in the comments :) Some ideas: ground cinnamon, mashed banana (in place of the mashed chickpeas), cacao powder or carob powder (for double chocolate tahini cookies), unsweetened dried cherries OR dried fruit of choice.






Future Recipes Sneak Peek is Back!


As a thank you to all of you Dimpled Date fans for waiting for me to post again, I will do a bonus "Future Recipes Sneak Peek" where I reveal a few of my newest recipe experiments coming to the blog soon. 5 new recipes coming to The Dimpled Date soon include:


  1. Date-Sweetened Superfood Brownies

  2. Creamy Vegan Shiitake Pasta w/ Blistered Shishito Peppers

  3. Candida-Friendly Sourdough Bread (YES, you read that right!) (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Date-Sweetened, w/ homemade gluten-free sourdough starter)

  4. Healthy Supreme Croissants AKA Healthy Rolled Croissants

5. Healthy No-Chocolate Italian/Spanish/French Hot Chocolate (Easy, 3-Ingredient, Low-Fat, made w/ cacao powder, not a chocolate bar!)


AND 3 bonus holiday recipes:


  1. Fruit-Sweetened Cranberry Sauce

  2. Healthy Peppermint Bark Truffles

  3. Healthy Double Pumpkin Roll (this is to DIE for!)


...AND many, MANY more!! Stay tuned for the delicious things happening in The Dimpled Date kitchen!


Happy 2024 again!


Enjoy! <3

-K.



Healthy Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Date-Sweetened, Nut-Free, Coconut-Free) (w/ a Secret Ingredient!)


Prep Time: 15 minutes (not including making chocolate)

Chill Time (optional): 15 to 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 to 12 minutes

Total Time: at least 25 minutes

Servings: 13 to 15 large cookies


Ingredients (for the snappy semi-sweet chocolate sweetened w/ dates):


-5.6 oz cacao butter


-2.6 oz cacao paste


-1 oz cacao powder


-2 oz dry oat milk powder (can sub dry coconut milk powder)


-1 oz melted hempseed butter (can sub softened coconut butter)


-1/2 cup date sugar (date sugar made from whole ground dates, NOT palm sugar)


-1/2 tsp vanilla extract


-good pinch sea salt


Ingredients (for the cookies):


-1 1/2 cups date sugar (date sugar made from whole ground dates, NOT palm sugar) OR 1 cup maple sugar OR 1 cup coconut sugar


-1/2 cup vegan butter, softened


-1/4 cup drained & rinsed chickpeas OR white beans of choice, mashed well (optional)


-1/3 cup unsweetened creamy tahini (can sub seed butter of choice)


-3/4 cup pumpkin seed flour, unpacked (can sub almond flour)*


-1/4 cup gluten-free oat flour


-1/2 tsp baking soda


-1 Tbsp vanilla extract


-1/2 tsp sea salt


-1 cup my Date-Sweetened Snappy Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped (recipe above // for date-sweetened/nut-free/coconut-free) OR 1 cup my Date-Sweetened Dark Chocolate, chopped OR 1 cup your vegan dark chocolate chips/chunks/chopped bar of choice (homemade or store-bought // refined sugar free as need be // if sugar is ok, Enjoy Life! morsels work just fine) OR 1 cup 100% dark chocolate chopped OR 1 cup unsweetened cacao nibs


For sprinkling (optional):


-sesame seeds, white and/or black


-coarse sea salt


-a drizzle of tahini


Directions:


1. Make the date-sweetened snappy semi-sweet chocolate ahead of time (if using my date-sweetened homemade chocolate). If using my Date-Sweetened Dark Chocolate (sweetened w/ whole dates), follow the directions in this recipe post. For the date-sweetened snappy semi-sweet chocolate: melt the cacao butter and cacao paste together in a double boiler. Once melted, add the date sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the cacao powder, oat milk powder, and hempseed butter and stir until dissolved and no clumps remain. Remove from heat (make sure the bottom of the double boiler is dry) and stir in the vanilla and sea salt. Optional but highly recommended step: allow the chocolate to cool a bit, then in a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix) OR a food processor, pour in the chocolate, then blend the chocolate until smoother and free of sandy clumps. This step makes the chocolate less gritty and more uniform and makes the grain of the chocolate less perceptible. If you have a chocolate melanger/chocolate grinder, instead of blending the chocolate in a Vitamix/food processor, you can add it to your melanger, and let it do the work for you (it will make the chocolate SUPER smooth with an imperceptible grain with zero grittiness). Then pour the liquid chocolate into a mold(s) (even an old tupperware lid or two will work fine), tap lightly and gently against the counter to release air bubbles and place in the fridge to chill & solidify/set for at least 1 to 1 1/2 hours. In a pinch, you can try freezing it for at least 20 minutes, but I recommend chilling in the fridge for the best results.


2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 to 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper OR large silicone baking mats. Soften the vegan butter in the microwave for 5 to 7 seconds. With a fork and a small plate OR in a mini food processor, mash the chickpeas/beans thoroughly until mushy and creamy (if using).


3. In a large bowl, cream together the softened vegan butter and date sugar manually using a wooden spoon till smooth and creamy. At first, it will look like WAY too much date sugar, but it's ok, just keep creaming and incorporating the date sugar until you get a smooth, creamy consistency. You're going to need all that date sugar; any less and it wouldn't be sweet enough (date sugar is highly absorbent, so the mixture will seem super sandy/powdery at first but keep mixing!).


4. Add the rest of the wet ingredients (tahini, vanilla, mashed chickpeas) and stir well to combine.


5. Add the dry ingredients (pumpkin seed flour, oat flour, baking soda, sea salt) and mix until just combined (DO NOT over-mix).


6. Fold in the chopped chocolate and if needed, chill the dough for at least 15 to 20 minutes, until firm enough to roll into balls.


7. Use a medium cookie scoop or a 1-Tbsp measuring spoon and scoop up a heaping 1.5-Tbsp chunk of dough, enough for a 2" dough ball. Roll the dough into a ball and roll in sesame seeds, if desired. Alternately, you can sprinkle the sesame seeds onto the cookies. Place the cookie dough ball on the lined sheet and flatten it with the base of a drinking glass or your hand. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and drizzle with a little tahini, if desired. Repeat with the rest of the dough until there's none left, chilling the dough in between sheets as needed. You should be able to fit about 6 cookies per baking sheet.


8. Bake in the preheated oven (at 350 F) for 10 to 12 minutes, until dry, golden-brown on the bottom, and fragrant.


9. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before removing.


10. Serve warm (for a softer cookie) or allow to cool a bit before enjoying (for a chewier cookie). Serve with a glass of unsweetened plant milk of choice, on its own, or however you please. Enjoy!


Storage: store in an airtight container at room temp for up to 5 days or store in an airtight container in the fridge for longer.


NOTES:


*to make raw pumpkin seed flour: simply blend 1 to 1.5 cups raw unsalted pumpkin seeds (AKA pepitas) in a food processor, coffee grinder, or nut & spice grinder until powdered (but be careful not to over blend because it will turn into pumpkin seed butter fast!).


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