Fall isn’t my favourite season. As pretty as the turning leaves are, it’s still not summer and the onslaught of rain and cold and dark grey clouds feels jarring at the beginning. I do however love this time of year for being able to comfortably turn on the oven again to bake. I’ve been baking quite a bit since I came back from vacation and I baked cookies before I left.
I took about half a dozen of black sesame thumbprint cookies for the plane ride. I want to make more this weekend to use up the last of my black sesame seeds.
We made a big batch of granola last week. Two large trays full of golden toasted oats with whole cashew, almonds, walnuts, and an assortment of chunky dried fruit including banana chips and a sprinkle of toasted black sesame seeds. It was inspired by a box of fruit and nut muesli we got while on vacation. It wasn’t fancy; just the Franprix (grocery store chain) Bio brand but it was quite remarkable. I couldn’t stop eating it, the banana chips added a sweet crunchy texture.
We enjoyed it so much, we bought it two more times. I was even tempted to bring some home, except I have this theory that the euphoria of being on vacation makes food taste at least 50% better than it really is. I decided to recreate it instead when we got home, excited to try banana chips in granola!
My homemade granola turned out remarkably awesome, I’m going to have to make more this weekend and hopefully, I can share the recipe with you soon. Now, onto these cookies…
They’re based on an old recipe I’ve been making for a few years now. A flour blend of oats, almonds and black sesame seeds is seasoned with warming spices and coconut oil and sweetened with maple syrup. It’s then baked golden into a buttery, almost-cakey cookie that is tender on the inside. Black sesame seeds make the cookies deeply nutty, adds richness and a sesame-ey element which gives the cookies a bit more complexity.
I toast the seeds lightly first to deepen the flavour, then grind it to flour consistency using a food processor. Be sure not to over-grind it, otherwise, you’ll end up with black sesame tahini, which I know sounds cool, but you don’t want that for these cookies.
It’s fibre and protein rich, and wonderful with tea or coffee. It’s satisfying and perfect for breakfast.
The fruit filling in the photos is a rhubarb compote I made in the summer, but it’ll be great with practically any jam or preserve you use.
- 1/2 cup black sesame seeds, optionally lightly toasted
- 2 cups oat flour
- 1 1/2 cups almond meal
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or safflower oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- Jam or preserve of your choice
- Using a food processor, coffee/spice grinder or a high-performance blender, grind sesame seeds by pulsing them for a few seconds to reach flour-like consistency.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
- In a large bowl, combine ground sesame seeds, oat flour and almond meal,
- Add salt, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg and mix
- Make a well in the middle of flour mix and pour in coconut (or safflower) oil and maple syrup
- Mix well to combine and refrigerate dough for 1 hour (or up to 24 hours)
- Form tablespoon-sized balls from the dough, and place them evenly spaced on the prepared baking sheet
- Use a finger or the end of a wooden spoon to indent the center of each cookie, making well in the center
- Fill the cookie centers with a about a teaspoon of jam or preserve
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until cookies are deeply golden and baked through
- Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring them onto a cooling rack
- Make oat flour by grinding rolled oats in a food processor, grinder or a high-performance blender
- One cup of rolled oats will make about a cup of oat flour
- I get almond flour/meal from the store (Trader Joe's or some natural food store) but you can easily grind whole almonds to make flour too, just don’t over-grind it