Happy Autumn! I was hoping to be making something a little more autumnal, like something with apples, pears, and/or pumpkin spice, but I sort of ran out of steam, and out of fresh ideas. Plus I made a drier more crumbly version of these last week, which I didn’t like, so I felt I needed to perfect these before moving on to something else. And I’m fairly pleased with them, so that’s why they are here!
The dates and water-soaked flax seeds helped the texture quite a bit, I think, while managing to not rely on eggs or dairy to moisten them or bind the ingredients together. That means they are vegan! Plus I used whole wheat flour so they are higher in fiber! If you are not crazy about coconut oil, they now have a refined version that takes out the coconut scent and flavor in the oil. I used unrefined coconut oil because it’s cheaper, and it didn’t have a strong coconut flavor or scent, anyway.
They were just the right amount of chewy, with a somewhat crisp exterior, especially after being removed from the oven and left to cool for about 10 minutes. You don’t want to eat one right from the oven, however, as they are the type of cookie that is just way too soft right out from the oven. I would say that 10 minutes after taking them out of the oven and letting them rest on a rack would be the optimal time to eat them, but they seem to be fine much later as well if you store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
Black Sesame Cookies, makes about 2 dozen, based on this recipe
2 Tablespoon flax seeds
6 Tablespoons water
1 and 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar (or brown sugar)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, solid room temperature (can use refined version if you don’t want that coconut scent or flavor)
1/4 cup chopped dried pitted dates, (I used 6 Medjool)
1/4 cup tahini
about 3/4 cup sesame seeds, black, white, or a combination of black and white, for topping
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the flax seeds and the 6 Tablespoons water in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and let it sit for about 5 minutes undisturbed.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt.
Into the bowl of the food processor, add the coconut oil, the dates, and the tahini. Pulse for several times to incorporate together into a paste, making sure there are no large pieces of dates.
Add the contents of the food processor bowl to the flour mixture and mix with a rubber spatula until all the dry ingredients are moistened and it becomes a cohesive dough. You can also use your clean hands to mix the dough.
Scoop into tablespoon-sized balls and flatten the tops slightly to form small but still thick discs and press the tops of each cookie into a small plate of black sesame seeds, coating the tops with seeds. (You can use whatever color you want, or a combination even; I just like the black sesame seeds the best.) Place on parchment lined baking sheets, sesame seed side up, spaced at least an inch or two apart. Cookie dough will not spread out much.
Bake for about 12 minutes, or until bottoms are slightly browned. Cookies will still feel soft. Remove from heat and let cool on a wire rack. Cookies will be harder when cooled about 10 minutes. Enjoy!