Salt and Stone: Gluten-Free Oatmeal Tahini Dark Chocolate Cookies

The kids are back at school. The house is cleaned up and all of the holiday decorations, debris and goodies long gone, either carefully packed up for another year or physically removed from the house in order to save us all from ourselves. It’s always a little bittersweet when regular life resumes.

I made a big Costco run around the first of the year and filled my cart with a whole lot of healthy and nutritious food. And while I haven’t made any formal resolutions in regard to health and food, it always feels good to me to start a brand new month (year, decade) with a clean slate. The holidays were full of lazy decadence and I enjoyed every moment of it. But a little restraint feels good, too.

A day or two after my Costco trip, my daughter mournfully stood at the refrigerator and sadly announced to her brothers sitting nearby that there was absolutely nothing to eat. When I looked over at her, she quickly mumbled “nothing good at least” before grabbing a Satsuma orange and scurrying away.

Another day went by with children moaning and groaning at the lack of “good food” to eat when I decided to strike a deal. We would make a batch of cookies, but I got to choose the recipe. I warned my crew they wouldn’t taste like regular cookies, but I was confident they would be delicious anyway and they had to promise to give them try.

More groaning ensued, but just the word “cookie” perked them up. I had bookmarked a recipe by the lovely blog Broma Bakery months ago and figured this was the perfect time to try a new, healthy recipe.

The cookies are somewhere between a homemade granola bar and a cookie. They are dense with oats and chopped dates. A hint of cinnamon and a little sweetness from the dark chocolate makes you feel like you’re eating something special. And if you’re anything like me (and my children) and you feel like you need a little treat but want to try keeping it healthy, this is a wonderful compromise.

You’ll notice the recipe calls for tahini, which is a ground sesame paste. It has a mild flavor and is a lighter option than nut butters. You can find it at the grocery store with the natural peanut butter.

I plan to make a couple more batches of these yummy cookies and store them in the freezer for weekends up at White Pass and for a quick snack whenever I’m feeling like I need a little something sweet.

• Andrea McCoy writes the column Kitchen Captivated for Yakima Magazine and at The Salt and Stone, a home cooking blog. The Salt and Stone is a nod not just to the essence of cooking, but also to the Yakima Valley. Read more at

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

(adapted from Broma Bakery)

1/2 cup tahini

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup old-fashioned oats

3 tablespoons almond flour

4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

6 pitted dates, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the tahini, maple syrup and vanilla extract together until combined.

Add in the oats, almond flour, salt, cinnamon, dates and chocolate and mix until everything comes together. The batter might still be a little runny. As it sits it will thicken up, so don’t worry! But if your batter is super super runny, add one more tablespoon of almond flour. And if it is too thick, add in a tablespoon of tahini.

Let the batter sit for 10 minutes to thicken. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out the batter onto the lined baking sheet. Flatten the cookies slightly with your palm. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. The middle of the cookies should still be pretty raw. Do NOT over bake; you want them to be chewy and gooey in the middle.