Spache the Spatula

Orange-Tahini Pine Nut Cookies

It’s been two weeks since I’ve shared a cookie recipe.

Orange-Tahini Pine Nut Cookies | #recipe (with #vegan and  #gluten-free options!)That’s weird. Did you know I have 37 cookie recipes on the blog? This one makes lucky number 38. Lucky because 8 is my favorite number, and also because these are freakin’ delicious… in a very weird way. Yes, I just described a cookie as weird, and no, it is not a bad thing. The weirdness comes from one of the main ingredients—tahini. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen tahini used in a sweet application, but it totally works here. It’s earthy, and nutty, but tempered by the sweet, floral honey. The cookies are nice and chewy, and the bottoms get all caramelized in the best possible way (um, don’t mind my chipped, shimmery blue nail polish… it was a Seahawks thing).

Orange-Tahini Pine Nut Cookies | #recipe (with #vegan and  #gluten-free options!) Orange-Tahini Pine Nut Cookies | #recipe (with #vegan and  #gluten-free options!) Orange-Tahini Pine Nut Cookies | #recipe (with #vegan and  #gluten-free options!)If you read my Weekly Wants posts, you may recognize this recipe. It is one that I have been smitten with the idea of for quite some time. I changed it up a bit by adding in some orange zest to make the cookies a bit brighter. They are chock-full of flavors and textures. The first words out of Mikey’s mouth were “Wow, these have a lot going on!” But it’s a good thing! They are super flavorful. On top of all that, they are egg-free, dairy-free, and can easily be made gluten-free and/or vegan by using gluten-free oats and swapping the honey for another liquid sweetener—a win all-around!

Orange-Tahini Pine Nut Cookies | #recipe (with #vegan and  #gluten-free options!) Orange-Tahini Pine Nut Cookies | #recipe (with #vegan and  #gluten-free options!)

Orange-Tahini Pine Nut Cookies

Yield: about 2 dozen cookies

Orange-Tahini Pine Nut Cookies


  • 3/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups rolled oats (for gluten-free, use gluten-free oats)
  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • 3/4 cup honey (sub maple syrup or agave for vegan option)
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Spread the pine nuts out on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, shaking a few times through, until toasted.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all of the ingredients. Beat until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, up to over night.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a couple baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
  5. Using a 1 and 1/2 inch cookie scoop, scoop mounds of dough onto the baking sheets, a couple inches apart.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes until the bottoms are golden. Let cool on the baking sheets.


recipe slightly adapted from here

Orange-Tahini Pine Nut Cookies | #recipe (with #vegan and  #gluten-free options!) Orange-Tahini Pine Nut Cookies | #recipe (with #vegan and  #gluten-free options!)Have you ever used tahini in a sweet application?


9 Responses to “Orange-Tahini Pine Nut Cookies”

  1. Jessica — February 10, 2014 at 3:21 am

    They look so cute and tasty, will def. be trying these!

    • Rachael replied: — February 10th, 2014 @ 9:30 am

      Thanks, Jessica! I'd love to know what you think about them!

  2. Norwegian guy. — February 20, 2014 at 7:34 am

    "Have you ever used tahini in a sweet application?"

    You mean halva? 😀 Seriously, though, you can just stir together tahini and honey, the honey will thicken the tahini considerably, just as when you are using lemon juice in preparing tahini dressing. What you get is a horribly tasty spread to smear on bread for breakfast. You can also use grape molasses (pekmez), this makes the mixture thinner, according to your preferred ratio of tahini to grape molasses, and somewhat more deep-tasting. Apparently the latter combination is a traditional food for cold morning breakfasts in the mountaint regions between the Near East and Persia. Absolutely delicious with fresh bread and a big mug of tea.

    I used rose water instead of vanilla+cinnamon, since rose water makes me feel fabulous. The cookies would probably have been just as delicious with vanilla and cinnamon, and I will indeed be making these again, so I am looking forward to trying that too.

    I love recipes like these, I like being able to serve vegan guests tasty and ersatz product-free food.

    • Rachael replied: — February 20th, 2014 @ 11:32 am

      I have never tried grape molasses, but that sounds fabulous! I wonder if that could be substituted for the honey in these cookies?
      I'm so glad you liked the cookies! Rose water sounds like an unbelievably good substitution, and I can't wait to try it!
      And I totally agree; I really loathe vegan food that "tastes vegan," as many people would say. Vegan food should taste delicious—you just have to stop using substitutes!

  3. Pingback: Miso-Oatmeal Cookies | Spache the Spatula

  4. maria — April 10, 2014 at 3:34 am

    haha you can never have too many cookie recipes!! I looove your blog. these sound so nice, i love pine nuts! i just made tahini cookies actually if you want to check it out, they're like shortbread so very crumbly!
    ohh awesome i just made tahini cookies as well actually but they were just plain shortbread. very crumbly. here's the blog post if you want to checkit out 🙂 not as healthy unfortunaetly haha but also i love your blog and your photography's just beautiful !

    • Rachael replied: — April 10th, 2014 @ 9:56 am

      Oh thank you so much, Maria! I can't wait to check yours out—shortbread is like my most favorite type of cookie, ever!

  5. Peter — October 31, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Yay!! delicious , do you have any left cookies Rachael? or do I have to make a fresh batch and invite you over for a girly talk?

    • Rachael replied: — October 31st, 2014 @ 1:23 pm

      Hah thanks. I made these quite a while ago, so unfortunately, there are none left.

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