Tahini Orange (or Lemon) Cookies

I’m aware you might come close to being bored to tears if you weren’t already, considering a lot of the recent posts on this blog have all been tahini-centric, but I promise I’ll switch to a new obsession in the next post if you give me a chance to write about these cookies today.
Do you?

The first time I made these a few months ago, I used orange zest. I had also included a little oil, which turned out to be absolutely superfluous because of the rather liquid nature of tahini paste.
The second time around, I turned to lemon extract, as I had run out of anything else related to citrus fruit. I must admit I prefer them to be flavored with orange, but you’re free to replace the orange zest with the same amount of actual lemon zest if you feel like it, as a tester gave this option two thumbs way up. I think I just had too much of a heavy hand with the extract.

If I only get to give you one tip, it would be that you remove them from the oven after 10 minutes even if they appear to still be soft, because you want them to be chewy, not dry. Which can easily happen with a mere extra 2 minutes in the hot stuff.

One last thing: you can use agave nectar instead of maple syrup; just be sure to use a 325°F (170°C, or gas mark 3) oven in this case.

1 cup (256 g) tahini
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) pure maple syrup or (168 g) agave nectar
1/4 cup (48 g) raw sugar
Zest of a big (organic, preferably) orange, about 2 heaping teaspoons, or same amount of lemon zest
1/2 cup (40 g) ground oats
1/2 cup (80 g) brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup (88 g) nondairy semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4), or 325°F (170°C, or gas mark 3) if using agave nectar. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, such as Silpat.
In a large bowl, whisk together tahini, vanilla, syrup or nectar, sugar, and zest.
In another medium bowl, whisk together ground oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and chips.
Stir dry ingredients into wet.
Divide dough into 20 equal portions. Flatten a little as the cookies won’t spread much while baking, leaving 1 inch (2.5 cm) between each of them.
Bake for 10 minutes, until the very edges are golden. Leave the cookies on the sheet for just a couple of minutes until they are firm enough to be transferred to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 20 medium cookies

  • Matt says:

    Hi Celine,

    I just stumbled upon your blog. I’ve recently gotten into a bit of a Tahini obsession like you (which I got into from a Date Syrup obsession).

    Have you tried Dibis W’rashi?


    Will check out what else you’ve been cooking. Great photos btw.

  • Laurel says:


    I got this from the RFCJ archive page. I hope it’s all right to copy it. Anyway it doesn’t look as if arrope syrup would be too difficult and probably quite a bit cheaper than agave.


    I’m wondering tahini/cashew lemon non-buttery buttery cookies?


    Breakfast: Sephardic Raisin Syrup for Matzah Brei: Arrope – pareve
    Posted by : Karen Selwin

    Sephardic Raisin Syrup: Arrope

    This recipe is from THE SEPHARDIC KITCHEN by Rabbi Robert Sternberg.
    Sternberg describes arrope as an alternative to honey or any other syrup
    for matzo brei or matzo meal pancakes.

    1/2 cup sugar
    5 cups cold water
    1 pound sweet dark raisins
    1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

    In a saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring
    occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Add the raisins and reduce the heat.
    Simmer uncovered for 2 hours. The liquid should cook down to half the
    original amount.

    Using a fine mesh sieve, strain the liquid, pushing as much of the
    raisin pulp through as possible. You may have to pour the strained juice
    back through the sieve 2 or 3 times. After the process is completed,
    discard the raisins.

    Return the liquid to the saucepan and stir in the lemon juice. Bring to
    a boil and cook until the syrup is thick enough to coat the back of a
    spoon. Serve warm with matzo brei or pancakes. Any leftover syrup can be
    stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator.

    Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 cups

    Source: “For Passover, matzo brei makes breakfast”
    Julie Riven
    BOSTON GLOBE (on-line edition), 4/8/98

    Return to RFCJ Archive Page

  • Amanda says:

    These look delicious Celine! I can’t wait to try them. My mom started buying hummus for us in the 70s when I was a little kid..I always loved the stuff that was from the local health food store..somehow it was extra “tahini” tasting..I would get so mad when my mom wouldn’t buy hummus there because other brands “didn’t taste” right! Years, later I finally figured out that it was the tahini that I loved!! do you like halva? It’s like tahini fudge in my mind..a treat just a few times a year otherwise I’d be a very BIG vegan.. he he he!!

  • Y says:

    You can never have enough tahini recipes! :) I need to find some brown rice flour first, and then get cracking on a couple of yummy looking recipes of yours that I’ve been eyeing recently.

  • Christina says:

    I was getting worried as I was rolling the dough into cookie forms. The dough seemed bitter and greasy and crumbly. BUT then, they cooked up beautifully. And were amazing. Thanks for the very delicious and very cool recipe. :)