POWER Cookies for Back-To-School

My wee girl starts full day kindergarten this year. It’s her first time in full-day school. And my first time with ALL my girls in full-day school! For the last 13+ years I’ve been with kiddos. So, it’s a big change for her, an even bigger change for me.

Once school starts, that is… our teachers are on strike here. But, eventually school will start again. Maybe I’m feeling the stress of the change, because I’ve been baking a lot. Ok, I bake a lot most days! But, it seems I’m baking more than usual – Berry Scuffins, Raisinet Cookies (from LTEV, I’ll try and post soon), and these new delicious Power Cookies.

Power Cookies by Dreena Burton - #vegan #glutenfree #nutfree #oilfree


These are the kind of cookie that satisfies a sweet tooth but also offers some nutritional punch. For a cookie, it’s pretty darn healthy, made with whole-grain oat flour, coconut, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and tahini. I use tahini so the cookies can be nut-free for school lunches. Most schools are nut-free zones, and that can be tricky planning school snacks. Many commercially-prepared snacks that happen to be nut-free tend to have dairy, eggs, or made with overly processed ingredients. So, it’s always useful to have a few nut-free goodies in your repertoire!

If you don’t have to make them nut-free, you can substitute another nut butter. I don’t always enjoy tahini in plant-based cookies, but here it works! I do prefer a very mellow, good-quality tahini (suggestions in recipe). If you can find a good brand, it’s worth it. But, you will forever be tahini-spoiled! Once you taste the good stuff, you don’t want to go back. (Just a heads up!) 😉

If you follow my Instagram posts, you may have seen this pic of Go Raw watermelon seeds. When I did my final test of these cookies, I was out of sunflower seeds. I thought “why not try the watermelon seeds“? They worked fabulously! They certainly aren’t essential, however. If you don’t have them, sunflower and pumpkin seeds work just fine. (As a side note, the watermelon seeds taste lovely on their own. They have a mellow seeds flavor, somewhat like sunflower but milder-tasting – and the sea salt used is minimal.)

Think you need a cookie close up. Zoom in on the chips!

Power Cookies, by Dreena Burton, plant-powered kitchen #vegan #glutenfree #nutfree #oilfree

Got it?

Nope, that’s a raisin on the left, There… to the right!

Power Cookies, by Dreena Burton, plant-powered kitchen #vegan #glutenfree #nutfree #oilfree

Yeahhhhh, that’s it.

Now bake… :) Enjoy, enjoy my friends!


Power Cookies, by Dreena Burton, plant-powered kitchen #vegan #glutenfree #nutfree #oilfree

Power Cookies

ReciPage to print/share recipe
My wee girl is a bundle of high energy! I created these vegan cookies to give her bite-sized nutrition to fuel her non-stop pace!

2 cups oat flour (use certified gf for gluten-free; see note)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 – 1/3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips (I like mini-chips; can substitute raisins or currants)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds or sprouted watermelon seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt (lightly rounded)
2 1/2 tbsp tahini (or raw almond butter if not needing nut-free, see note)
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp pure maple syrup (see note)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, coconut, chocolate chips, seeds, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the tahini (or almond butter) with the maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir through until well combined. Place scoops (about 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp in size) on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 10-11 minutes, until just set to the touch, then remove from oven and let cool for a minute on sheet, and then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes about 15-18 cookies.

Oat Flour note: Don’t substitute an equal amount of another flour (like spelt)_ here – it has a different volume and requires more liquid to come together. If you want to sub another flour, use less to start, about 1 2/3 cups, and add in any extra as needed after bringing together the wet and dry ingredients. If it’s too wet/sticky, add a touch more flour.

Tahini note: Tahini brands vary in taste and textures. If possible, use a mellow-flavored tahini (ex: Baron’s, Achva, Alwadi)

Maple syrup note: The mixture should come together nicely, but if it’s quite thick and not combining, add another 1/2 – 1 tbsp of maple syrup mixed with another 1 tsp of nut butter or tahini.


  1. Jerilyn says

    P.S. I used raw almond butter that I ground yesterday at Whole Foods, not the tahini option…before I put the almond butter in the refrigerator, I tasted it and it was delicious…so I know it wasn’t the almond butter that was the problem.

    • Dreena says

      Hi Jerilyn, thanks for the note and sorry you had that experience. I’m not sure how to explain that, I typically taste that salty tone with too much soda rather than powder. However, baking powder brands differ, so that might be a possibility. Did you substitute any different flours?

      • Jerilyn says

        Hi…thanks for writing back. I used Trader Joe’s baking powder and I only used oat flour, no other flours, just like your recipe indicated.

        Like many others, I grind my own oat flour on a regular basis because oats are the only “flour” I use when making cookies as I am wheat sensitive.

        Do you have any suggestions for another brand of baking powder? I have used many different ones in the past years of much home baking; Trader Joe’s is cheaper than most. There is of course always the possibility that it was the baking powder that gave the cookies that off taste.

  2. Jerilyn says

    Hi…I made these cookies and was unfortunately disappointed in how they turned out. I have been making a similar vegan cookie recipe for a few years, but it calls for baking SODA, not baking powder. So I followed your recipe, using the baking powder, and the cookies tasted too salty and metallic. The baking powder I used was opened 2 months ago and stored properly, so I am at a loss to know why the taste was so off. Any thoughts?

    • Dreena says

      Yes, you sure can, Melissa. There are sweetened and unsweetened sunbutters, so it’s up to you which you’d prefer to use!

  3. says

    Thanks for the tahini tip! I find mine quite bitter but didn’t know if it was just supposed to be that way. Hopefully I can find one of the brands you recommended.

    The teachers are on strike where I live too 😉

  4. says

    Sprouted watermelon seeds–love it. Can’t wait to get my hands on some. I can eat sunflowers seeds just by walking into the kitchen… In fact I think I will go there right now and make these cookies. Hungry.

    • Dreena says

      Hi Justin, I do like coconut flour, but find it needs some moisture tweaking when subbing in for other flours, it’s a ‘thirstier’ flour. I might try it out in these tho! Thanks for the idea. (and I’m playing with some coconut flour recipes, hopefully something to post soon!)

    • Dreena says

      Hope you do try them! I’ve had tahini in cookies and sometimes it’s not right, the flavor is too strong/bitter. I’ve combined here with cinnamon and maple syrup b/c it really helps balance the taste. Enjoy!

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