These Black Tahini Cookies have a deep nutty flavor and incredible chewy texture. Dark in color and studded with creamy white sesame seeds, these cookies are bound to surprise you. They are addictive. 

Black tahini cookies stacked on a white plate.
No joke, these cookies are out-of-this-world delicious. They’ve rightfully become one of our favorite cookie recipes. Not only are they packed with a deep, nuanced nutty flavor, but they have a perfectly chewy texture with just a bit of crumble.

Black tahini cookies stacked on a white plate.

And guess what? You’d never know they were gluten-free. Yes! You can make these gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour blend. But the best part—you can also use regular all-purpose flour! 


Zestful Kitchen’s #1 taste tester, who is notoriously anti-gluten-free
everything (I get it, he’s a purist of sorts) said these were incredible. And I must say, he doesn’t offer that opinion lightly, nor often.

When he asks for more—and when I have to hide a few for myself—I know I’ve struck recipe gold.

Black tahini cookies stacked on a white plate.

OK, I’ve heard of tahini. But what is black tahini?

First off, we need to know what tahini is. It’s a paste made from ground toasted and hulled sesame seeds. Tahini is made in a process that’s very similar to making nut butters like peanut butter and almond butter.

So, regular tahini is made of white sesame seeds, while black tahini is made with black sesame seeds. Simple!

You’ll find tahini used in cuisines all over the world, but it’s very popular in in the Middle East, Mediterranean, and North Africa. It’s often well-known for it’s use in hummus and baba ghanoush.

Regular tahini works just as well as black tahini in these cookies, but you’ll lose some depth of flavor. When I compared the two, I found that regular tahini has more of a raw, bitter flavor, while black tahini is slightly toastier and more nutty. Not only that, it’s pretty fun to use something that’s so stunningly dark. 

You can find black tahini at some health food stores, but I order mine from Amazon.

Black tahini cookies stacked on a white plate.

You said a gluten-free flour blend? Where do I find that?

When baking gluten-free, I highly recommend you seek out a gluten-free 1:1 baking blend that already contains xanthan gum (essential for gluten-free baking). 

I prefer Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 flour—it works like a dream!

Black tahini cookies stacked on a white plate.

In other news, my #1 taste tester has also been my #2 builder lately. I just recently invested in a new computer—lord help my bank account—and thanks to my hammer-wielding, nail gun-shooting, white-washing dream-boat-of-a-guy, I have a new gorgeous standing desk that’s what desk dream are made of! Once we get the legs attached and I organize my life, I’ll share some photos. 

Black tahini cookies stacked on a white plate.

Anyway, I hope you all have a happy Halloween and enjoy these spooooky cookies!

Black tahini cookies stacked on a white plate.

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Black tahini cookies stacked on a white plate.

Chewy Black Tahini Cookies [Gluten-Free]

  • Author: Zestful Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 3 dozen cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern-Inspired

Description

Somewhat of a glorified peanut butter cookie, these gluten-free chewy Black Tahini Cookies have a bit more structure and nutty flavor than it’s predecessor, while still featuring that beloved chewy texture. Deep black in color and studded with creamy white sesame seeds, these tender and delicious cookies are a fun addition to any halloween party!  


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 ½ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups black tahini (or regular)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

Instructions

Heat oven to 375°F with racks set in upper middle and lower middle position. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together; set aside.

Cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together in a stand mixer on medium-high speed, 3 minutes.

Add tahini, eggs, and vanilla and mix on medium speed until thoroughly combined, scraping down sides as needed. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Working with 2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll into balls, then gently press sesame seeds on top of dough balls; arrange on prepared sheets 1½-inches apart, sesame seed-side up.

Bake cookies, two sheets at a time, until edges of cookies are set, 11–12 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking.

Let cookies cool on sheets 3 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


Notes

Store cookies in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze for up to a month.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 144
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 96mg
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 17g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 17mg

Keywords: Gluten free cookie, Cookie, Tahini,

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Black tahini cookies stacked on a white plate.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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Comments

  1. New to your site. Is black tahini easy to find? Whole Foods maybe…? And can I use regular flour? Excited to make these…!

    1. Hi Lisa,

      I have found it at only a few Whole Foods, I always call them first just to make sure! But I usually order mine off of Amazon, I link to it earlier in the post (right under the dough ball photo). If you can’t find tahini or don’t want to order it, regular works just as well! Let me know how you like them, thanks for stopping by!

  2. Delicious and easy to make. I found adults like them more than little kids tho I’ve yet to try them on big kids.

  3. I just made these cookies. The dough was wonderful to work with and the cookies have a nice little crunch when you bite into them and soft and chewy inside. It has a subtle nutty taste from the sesame paste. With the amount of sesame paste in the recipe though, I was expecting a stronger sesame flavour and was a little disappointed that it was so subtle, which is why I only gave it 4 stars. Definitely a recipe that I would make again but I might add ground black sesame to boost the flavour.

  4. These cookies are delicious! I made some “energy balls” with black sesame seeds (1 cup) and raisins (1 cup) as well as cacao powder (1/2 cup), that I hated. The flavor was too intense. I subbed the black tahini for the entirety of the energy ball mixture and cut the sugar in the original recipe down to 1/2 cup of brown sugar. I’m very pleased. Thanks for saving me!