Tender, moist vegan sesame tahini lemon cookies are easy to make. Rich with tahini and subtly flavored with lemon, these cookies will take your coffee or tea break to a new level. Use a whole-grain flour (whole wheat pastry, light spelt, einkorn) to make them as wholesome as they are delectable.
There’s not a whole lot to say about these cookies other than just try them — especially if you like lemony desserts! They have a tender crumb and a lovely golden color, and a double dose of sesame, with both tahini and seeds.
Tip: Use tahini that’s fairly fluid for these cookies. Clumpy tahini (which happens when you get close to the bottom of the jar or container) will be harder to work into the dough. If need be, you can combine clumpy tahini with a little water in a blender to loosen it up a bit, but it’s best to start with tahini that’s already pretty fluid.
A favorite Middle Eastern food, tahini is a rich paste ground from raw, hulled sesame seeds. Tahini comes in jars or tins. Stir well before using to mix the oil with the solids if they’ve separated. Keep tahini refrigerated once any kind of container is opened.
Because the hull isn’t used in the making of tahini, its nutrients aren’t as concentrated as they may be in whole sesame seeds or sesame butter, but it’s still a food with plenty going for it. Two tablespoons of tahini contain 170 calories, 16 grams of fat, and 5 grams of protein.
See more about this mighty little seed in our Guide to Sesame (seeds, tahini, and sesame butter).
- 1 3/4 flour (whole wheat pastry, light spelt, einkorn, or a combination)
- 2/3 cup natural granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, plus more for topping
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2/3 cup sesame tahini (see tip in Notes)
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, softened
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, preferably fresh
- Zest of 1 lemon (optional, but highly recommended)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Combine the flour, sugar, sesame seeds, baking powder, and baking soda in a mixing bowl and stir together until completely blended.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the tahini, vegan butter, lemon juice, zest, and vanilla. Stir together until the wet and dry ingredients are completely combined.
- Drop dough in 2-tablespoon measures onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten with slightly damp palms. Sprinkle the tops with additional sesame seeds.
- Bake for 11 to 14 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for a bit, then transfer to a rack or plate to cool completely before serving.
- Store any cookies that aren’t eaten right away in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where they’ll keep for several days.
Tip: Use tahini that’s fairly fluid. Clumpy tahini (which happens when you get close to the bottom of the jar or container) will be harder to work into the dough. If need be, you can combine clumpy tahini with a little water in a blender to loosen it up a bit, but it’s best to start with tahini that’s already pretty fluid.
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