Crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle, these Spiced Tahini Oatmeal Cookies are lightly sweet and filled with warming spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper. Vegan and made without refined sugar or oil.
In my trusty old recipe binder I have a printout from nearly twenty years ago for Spicy Oatmeal Crisps. It was a recipe from the December 2000 issue of Cooking Light, and while I can't remember exactly how many times I made these back in the day, I know that I LOVED these cookies.
They were one of my go-to recipes during the holidays, and I'm sure I toted them to more than a few parties. For years I've intended to make a vegan version, and the day is finally here!
But instead of simply veganizing them, I also made them quite a bit healthier, opting for oat flour instead of all-purpose, tahini instead of butter, and coconut sugar instead of brown sugar. The result is a crisp yet chewy, irresistibly spiced oatmeal cookie that will keep you coming back for more!
How to Make Spicy Tahini Oatmeal Cookies
The complete recipe is at the bottom of the page, but here's a summary to get you started.
To make these cookies you'll need a mixing bowl, baking sheet, and parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Technically, you can make these in 1 bowl. If you're in the mood to play it safe, go ahead and mix wet and dry in separate bowls, then combine.
I use this inexpensive Wilton cookie scoop, but a standard tablespoon also works. Just scoop up a scant 1 ½ tablespoons of dough per cookie, roll into balls, then flatten each one with a fork creating a criss-cross pattern on top. Easy peasy!
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the bottoms are golden. After a few minutes transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. They'll crisp up on the outside and get nice and chewy as they cool.
Tips and Substitutions
This recipe is inspired by that old non-vegan cookie recipe I mentioned, but the base of the cookies more closely resembles my Oat Flour Peanut Butter Cookies. So far I've only had a chance to test these with oat flour, but other whole-grain flours should be fine, too. And similar to my Cashew Butter Cookies, 1:1 gluten-free flour should also work (use just ½ cup).
Feel free to use store-bought oat flour, or make your own by blending rolled oats until finely ground.
I recommend weighing the flour with an inexpensive kitchen scale for the best results. If you don't have a scale, measure oat flour by lightly spooning it into the measuring cup, then leveling off the top.
As written, I would describe these cookies as lightly sweet and not super over the top spicy, but of course, these things tend to be subjective! After trying the recipe you may decide to increase the cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and/or black pepper, or you might even decide to decrease the spices.
Coconut sugar gives these cookies a molasses-y warmth and non-cloying sweetness. If you choose a different granulated sweetener, like brown sugar, they will be sweeter.
The small amount of maple syrup called for in the recipe contributes to the overall flavor, sweetness, and moisture. I recommend keeping it if you can, but if you don't have any and really want to make cookies, replace the maple syrup with 1 ½ tablespoons coconut sugar plus 2 teaspoons milk.
More oil-free vegan cookies and desserts:
I hope you enjoy these Spiced Tahini Oatmeal Cookies. If you try the recipe be sure to leave a comment and star rating below to let everyone know how they turned out!
Spiced Tahini Oatmeal Cookies (Vegan; Oil-Free)
- ⅔ cup oat flour Certified gluten-free if needed. See Notes.
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper Medium grind
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup tahini, stirred well
- ½ cup coconut sugar Sub light or dark brown sugar if desired.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 to 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C), and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium-size bowl whisk together the oat flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, salt, pepper, cloves, and nutmeg. In a mixing bowl combine the tahini, coconut sugar, vanilla, maple syrup, and 1 Tbsp of milk. Stir until smooth.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl, and stir to combine. The dough should be thick and somewhat sticky; if it seems too dry, add 1 more tablespoon of milk.
- Use a tablespoon or cookie scoop to scoop up approx. 1 ½ tablespoons of dough per cookie. Roll the dough between your palms to form a smooth ball, and place on the prepared pan about 3 inches apart. Use a fork to create a criss-cross pattern on the top of each cookie, gently pressing down to flatten. Dip the underside of the fork tines in coconut sugar to prevent sticking.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until the bottoms are golden. The cookies will be very soft straight out of the oven. Allow to rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer cookies to a cooling rack. As they cool the outsides will crisp up while the insides remain chewy.
- Once cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze for longer storage.