Ginger Tahini Tea Cookies
Lately I have been trying to cut dairy out of my diet. As someone with a GI issue (hello Crohn’s Disease), I am always very aware of what I eat and how it makes me feel. Over the last few years I have noticed that regular old dairy has not been sitting well with me.
I started small. So I cut out the milk from my coffee each morning and replaced with my almond milk (Nectar & Green almond milk is my favorite since there are only 2 ingredients: water and almonds). I instantly felt better.
Of course, this meant that I wanted to do more dairy-free baking. While there are lots of vegan butter options and I use them, nut and seed butters add fat, but also flavor to a baked good.
Tahini has been a recent love of mine. For most of my life I have only eaten nut butters; they were my first love. Tahini has won me over though. It is so rich and creamy, but also has a great slightly savory flavor. It can play in the sweet camp as well as the savory.
Earl Grey tea seemed like the perfect match for the flavor of the tahini. Bergamot, that certain something in the tea, is a very floral flavor that compliments the earthy flavor of the tahini. Not to mention when finished, these cookies remind me a little bit of the times I had high tea in London. I am always nostalgic for anything British.
Now, a few details about this recipe:
Weigh over measure.
One of my most used kitchen tools is a kitchen scale. If you are ever reading a recipe from the UK, Europe or even Canada, you will notice that the recipe is written out in grams or ounces. Measuring in weight, not volume (cups) is so much easier it is amazing. I will say that when it comes to dry ingredients, I will still tend to measure in cups etc because different flours are different weights.
But the wet ingredients are a different story. Measuring out the wet ingredients by weight is a snap. If you think about replacing butter with nut or seed butter, you just have to think about replacing the weight. A stick of butter weighs 4 ounces or 113 grams; so, I measure out 4 oz of almond butter.
If you don’t have a kitchen scale, I highly recommend getting one. I use this one and it’s fairly inexpensive at $30.
What’s with the water?
After baking with tahini a few times, there is one thing that I have noticed: it likes to seize up when mixed. After mixing in a liquid sweetener or the egg, tahini will seize up. It’s like it gets annoyed that someone else joins the party. Even adding a room temperature egg and a room temperature agave, the tahini will seize up. This is why the warm water is added. And it has to be warm. If you use cold water, it will not relax the tahini. The water helps to emulsify the tahini into the egg and you get one happy mixture.
If you really want to up the tea flavor in this cookie, swap the water out for brewed Earl Grey tea, still warm.
And the flour.
I used sprouted brown rice flour for this recipe simply because it is what I had on hand. If you want to use a different flour, go ahead. I would recommend using oat flour or spelt flour. I have not tested this recipe using grain-free flours, but if I was going to swap out the grains, I would use a mixture of almond and tapioca flours.
Alright, let’s make some cookies.
6oz tahini paste (about 1 and 1/4 cups)
2 oz agave
2 oz organic cane sugar
4 tbsp warm water
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup brown rice flour (you can also use gluten-free oat flour)
3 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 Earl Grey tea bags, contents emptied
1/3 cup chopped crystalized ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, tea, ground ginger, baking soda, salt and chopped ginger.
In a large bowl set on top of a zeroed kitchen scale, measure out the tahini, agave and cane sugar. Whisk together until smooth. Add the egg, vanilla and water and whisk again until smooth.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until fully combined. Cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Scoop cookie dough (about 1.5 tbsp size scoops) onto the cookie sheet, leaving a little over an inch between each. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes until the edge are golden brown.
Enjoy with a little orange marmalade or your favorite fruit spread and a cup of tea.
Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a week. Freeze in an airtight container for a month.