Delicious Chocolate Chunk Cookies that have ALL of the flavor and are both vegan and gluten-free!
These Vegan Chocolate Chunk and Tahini Oatmeal Cookies are for you if you are looking for a healthier option that still delivers on flavor. Chocolate chunks, flaky sea salt, tahini and oats. Some of my favorite things all rolled into one! And oh yeah, you would never guess they are both gluten-free and plant-based, say what?!
Ingredients needed for these cookies
What is a flax egg?
First you will make two flax eggs. Haven’t made a flax egg before? Have no fear. You will need some ground flax seeds and warm water. When you combine the two and let them sit for a few minutes, they thicken and become the egg that helps bind the ingredients together. I buy my flax seeds whole and grind them using a coffee grinder. It’s best to grind small batches and store the ground flax seeds in the freezer to keep them fresh. Most recipes that call for flax eggs use a ratio of 2.5 to 3 tablespoons of water to 1 tablespoon of ground flax. We are using 2.5:1. So since we want 2 flax eggs, we will combine 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds with 5 tablespoons of water. I like this brand.
After you make the flax eggs and let it sit for three to five minutes to thicken, you will add coconut sugar, tahini, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
Coconut sugar, also called coconut palm sugar, is derived from the sap of a coconut palm. It is an unrefined sugar that still contains minerals like iron, zinc, potassium and calcium and even contains antioxidants. Coconut sugar is brown in color and lends a brown color to most baked goods. While it is a healthier alternative to white table sugar, it is still sugar; which means it is high in calories. Consumed in excess, added sugars may contribute to weight issues, diabetes and other diseases. You can find coconut sugar in most grocery stores in the sugar section or in the natural foods area.
What kind of tahini to use
Tahini is just ground sesame seeds. That’s it! You can find it in grocery stores in the nut butter section. I find that grocery stores with a good natural section usually have the best options. You want a somewhat runny tahini like this one, and not one that is solid and hard; it needs to be stirrable. Check out the below photo, you can tell this tahini is soft and stirrable.
I recommend that you do not buy Joyva brand of sesame tahini. This brand is commonly found in most stores, however, it is much too hard to stir into a recipe. You will notice that most brands of tahini will have a layer of oil at the top. Make sure you stir it well before measuring out what you need for this recipe.
Tahini is a great source of calcium. Just one tablespoon contains 64 mg of calcium or 6% of the daily value. This makes it a great thing to use for dressings, sauces and dips. It’s also commonly found in hummus and adds to its creaminess.
I think coconut oil lends a nice flavor to baked goods. If you do not like coconut or do not have any on hand, you can substitute a mild tasting oil like avocado oil. Make sure you melt the coconut oil before adding it to this recipe. This is easy to do on the stove or you can put some in a small oven safe container and let it melt while the oven warms up to bake the cookies!
Vanilla extract is non-negotiable in baking! It adds a warming vanilla flavor that you will find in almost every cookie recipe. This recipe calls for 2 teaspoons, which is maybe a little indulgent giving the price of vanilla extract, but I think it is well worth it.
Recommended type of gluten-free flour
After you have the wet ingredients mixed together, you will add in gluten free flour, rolled oats, baking powder and sea salt. For gluten free flour, I use Bob’ Red Mill Gluten free 1 to 1 Baking Flour. You can use it to replace wheat flour in any recipe that calls for regular flour. I have found this particular blend to have a great flavor, and when used in the right proportions, you can’t even tell you aren’t using regular wheat flour. You can certainly replace this ingredient with flour or a better alternative would be spelt. I did not test the recipe like this, but see no reason why it would not work out well.
This recipe calls for whole rolled oats instead of using quick oats. I love the texture of them and always have them on hand. They are more of a whole food version of oats and therefore are a bit better for you.
After you mix in the dry ingredients, you are ready to fold in the chocolate chunks! For the chocolate chunks, I used Enjoy Life Mega Chunks. This is a dairy free brand. The mega chunks just have three ingredients: cane sugar, unsweetened chocolate and cocoa butter. If you have chocolate chips on hand, you could certainly substitute them.
The best flaky sea salt
Finally these cookies get topped with flaky sea salt! The flaky sea salt on top is totally optional. It really helps bring out the sweetness in these cookies and is the icing on the cake (in my opinion). I use Maldon sea salt flakes which is renowned by chefs as being a pure and amazing tasting sea salt. You can find this sea salt in some nicer grocery stores, www.thrivemarket.com, and Amazon.
If you want smaller chocolate chunk and tahini oatmeal cookies
This recipe calls for 1/4 cup measurements which makes a large cookie. If you want to make them smaller, I would consider baking for one to two minutes less than what the recipe calls for.
I really hope you love these vegan chocolate chunk and tahini oatmeal cookies! They are:
crisp on the outside and tender on the inside
full of oat-y deliciousness
If you love cookies, try these Double Peanut Butter Cup Cookies! They only require one bowl, 10 minutes and are vegan, gluten-free and decadent!
Vegan Chocolate Chunk and Tahini Oatmeal Cookies
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 5 tablespoons warm water
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- ½ cup stirrable tahini (see recipe notes)
- ¼ cup virgin coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ⅔ cup gluten-free flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup chocolate chunks
- Flaky sea salt (optional, to taste)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with a reusable silicone liner or a sheet of parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds with 5 tablespoons warm water to make your flax “eggs.” Let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. In the meantime you can measure out your other ingredients.
- To your flax “eggs” add 1/2 C tahini, 3/4 C coconut sugar, 1/4 C melted coconut oil, 2 tsp vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- Add 2/3 C gluten-free flour, 1 cup rolled oats, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp fine sea salt and stir to combine.
- Add 1 cup chocolate chunks and stir to combine.
- Measure the dough in 1/4 C scoops, roll into a ball and place on your baking sheet. Flatten out each cookie by pressing them with your hand. The shape and thickness that you make them will be how they end up. They do not spread very much on their own.
- Make sure your oven has reached 350°F. An inexpensive oven thermometer can help ensure your oven is at the correct temperature. Place the cookies in your preheated oven for 16 minutes. When done, remove from oven, let rest for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and move them to a cooling rack. Once the cookies are completely cool, place them in an airtight container. Store in a sealed container on the counter for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months.