Sesame paste (tahini) with pekmez (traditional fruit molasses) is a popular dip/spread combo in Turkey. These sesame pekmez cookies contain the classic Turkish flavours in a baked form.
Sweetness to Taste
The great thing about these cookies is that the unbaked dough is completely edible. After all, it’s just tahini, syrup, and almond flour. So one benefit of that (aside from being able to eat raw cookie dough, which is already a huge plus) is you can adjust the sweetness in this recipe to your personal preference.
For example, in my family it’s insanely hard to bake sweet treats that please everyone. For the same batch of cookies, my mom will say it’s too sweet and my boyfriend will say it’s not sweet enough. UGH. (That was definitely the case for my first go at this recipe…) And I’m sure that goes for some of you readers as well. So if you’re someone who likes only a hint of sweetness in their desserts, start with a 1/4 cup of pekmez (80 g) and taste a little to see if it’s enough; if not, keep adding. And if you love super sweet things you might want to add a bit more than what I’ve suggested in the recipe.
Where to Find Ingredients
For the most basic version of this cookie, all you’ll need are pekmez or any kind of syrup; tahini (sesame paste); and almond flour. An optional ingredient is mahlab. Mahlab is a traditional Turkish spice that adds an interesting flavour to baked goods; I added just a pinch but you can leave it out with no issue, or try substituting with your favourite spice! So far, I’ve tried this recipe with cinnamon and cocoa powder and both have been pretty yummy. I prefer to use dut pekmez (mulberry molasses) in this recipe, but it works very nicely with other pekmez varieties such as grape or carob. Each one will lend a different flavour to the finished cookie. For example, I find that carob molasses gives the cookies a strong, almost medicinal flavour. If you are unsure, I would stick with mulberry molasses as the most palatable option.
I ordered the pekmez and mahlab from Turkish Bazaar, and the tahini from there as well, though you can also find it at most grocery stores (Superstore, No Frills, Sobeys, etc). The almond flour I used was from Costco, though I’ve also used almond flour from Bulk Barn.
Sesame Pekmez Cookies
- 1/2 cup tahini 125g
- 1/3 cup pekmez or agave syrup 105g; see
- 1 ½ cup almond flour 170g
- 1 tsp mahlab *optional
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp rose petals
- 1 tbsp chopped pistachios
- Stir tahini and pekmez together in a medium bowl.
- Add the almond flour and mahlab (optional) and mix with until smooth. You don't need to worry about over-mixing for this recipe.
- Form into 12 balls and flatten each one into 1/2-inch thick cookies onto a lined baking sheet.
- Optional step: press in any toppings you'd like.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 325 °F (160 °C) on the middle rack of the oven.
- Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- I prefer to use dut pekmez (mulberry molasses) in this recipe, but it works very nicely with other pekmez varieties such as grape or carob. Agave syrup is a decent substitute if you don’t have pekmez. Maple syrup can also be used, but it’ll add a totally different flavour to the cookies.
Nutrition, Cost, and Emissions Information
Each sesame pekmez cookie with toppings is 190 cal, costs $0.29, and releases 58 gCO2e of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
Calculation for full recipe as written (12 cookies):
Feel free to contact me for sources on the nutritional and carbon emissions information presented here. Note that I am not a nutritionist and guidelines on this page are provided for informational purposes only.