Marathon Cookies Recipe

I made these cookies for Wayne to eat when he finished the San Francisco Marathon. The batter is made with pureed white beans, lots of oats, and whole wheat flour. The resulting cookies are sesame coated and flavored with aniseed, lemon zest, olive oil and chopped dates. They are beautifully tender, licorice-scented, with a bit of crunch from the sesame seed coating.

Marathon Cookies

Wayne ran the San Francisco Marathon on Sunday. He ran it last year, but because I hopped a last-minute plane to Chile and Argentina, I missed his first-ever 26-miler. Needless to say, I had some making up to do this year. The alarm clock went off at 5 o'clock the morning of the race, and I groggily assumed my role of chauffeur and post-race food supplier. We were in the car by 5:20, and he was at the start line ready to go by 5:45. Again, this is a.m. On Saturday I put some thought into what I might pack for him to eat after crossing the finish line. There's no lack of cyber-drinks or muscle bars at these sorts of things, but I thought he might like something homemade. I've done the granola bar thing to death around here, so that was out. But I remembered a breakfast bean cookie recipe that made the rounds a while back (I came across them on Nicole's beautiful the habit of being site via Definitely Not Martha), and I used that recipe as a jumping off point. The cookies use pureed white beans in the dough, lots of oats, and whole wheat flour. After a bit of experimenting, I had a baggie full of palm-sized, sesame coated, bun-shaped cookies flavored with aniseed, lemon zest, olive oil and chopped dates. The cookies are beautifully tender, licorice-scented, with a bit of crunch from the sesame seed coating.

Marathon Cookies

A couple technical notes: I tried a few different things here, with varying degrees of success. I baked off a sheet of small drop-style cookies first. They tasted good, but the texture was off, they weren't attractive, and they dried out a bit during baking. The second round was much much better and the key was shape and size. I decided to go for a much larger cookie (3x the original), shaped into balls and fully coated with sesame seeds. They were great, and you could certainly slice them in half for a satisfying snack. I made a hodge-podge of other departures from the original recipe - I decided to use olive oil instead of butter, and thought dates would be interesting as well. And for those of you who are skeptical about beans in your cookies - you'd never know they were in there.

Marathon Cookies

I should also mention the inspiration for the flavors at play here. I tasted a cigar cookie last week at the new Blue Bottle Cafe at the SFMOMA. It was sesame-coated, tender, with a hint of what I thought was aniseed, but was actually absinthe. I wrote "aniseed/sesame" on a post-it note when I got home and slapped it on my desk. There it was staring at me when I sat down to think about these cookies.

101 Cookbooks Membership

Premium Ad-Free membership includes:
-Ad-free content
-Print-friendly recipes
-Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection PDF
-Weeknight Express recipe collection PDF
-Surprise bonuses throughout the year

spice herb flower zest
weeknight express

Marathon Cookies

My guess is that you could substitute spelt flour or all-purpose flour if you don't have whole wheat pastry flour on hand, or have difficulty finding it.

2 cups rolled oats (not instant oats)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon aniseed, crushed in mortar and pestle (or spice grinder)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

one 15-ounce can white kidney, great northern, or navy beans, rinsed & drained
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup sesame seeds

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees and place a rack in the top third. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Pulse the oats in a food processor (or blender) until they resemble a raggy flour. Transfer the oats to a large mixing bowl and whisk in the flour, aniseed, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest and salt.

Pulse the beans and olive oil in the food processor until they are creamy. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract and pulse until smooth. Scrap down the sides of the bowl once or twice along the way.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until the ingredients start to come together. Sprinkle the dates across the top of the batter and stir until everything just comes together.

Place the sesames seeds in a bowl. Make each cookie with a scant 1/4 cup scoop of dough. Roll each scoop of dough into a ball then coat it with sesame seeds. Set each ball on the prepared baking sheet and with the palm of your hand flatten the dough just a bit (see photo). Repeat with the remaining dough, leaving at least an inch or so between each cookie - they'll spread a bit, but not much. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the sesame seeds around the bottom start to get golden.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies. I'm not 100% sure about the yield here because I tested a variety of cookies sizes.

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 25 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

Comments are closed.

Apologies, comments are closed.


Heidi said: I would be curious to know what sort of all-natural energy snacks you marathoners / ultra marathoners keep on hand. I'm a marathoner too and always looking for alternatives to those processed and expensive gels and powders. Another poster mentioned honey; I do something similar: I mash up a banana quite well and mix it with a spoonful of honey or maple syrup. Spoon this goop into one of those mini-size plastic baggies (if you can find them) and throw in your pocket for the run. Mid-run, all you have to do is bite the corner off the baggies and suck out of the goop. It doesn't look very appetizing but works for me and tastes better than the artificial stuff! Oh- I've also heard you can mix a mashed banana with a bit of natural peanut butter instead of honey, but personally that's too heavy for me to eat on the run. Cheers from Oxford!


Delicious! I was so intrigued I made these immediately. I can't leave a recipe alone so I made the following tweaks: half the sugar, very sweet dried apricots instead of dates, a scant teaspoon almond extract instead of aniseed, and for the flour, half ww pastry flour and half brown rice flour (a note to RiverWhisper). They were plenty sweet with only half the sugar, and were surprisingly filling for something so delicate-tasting. I have the bad habit of eating cookies for breakfast--these may make that habit slightly less bad. HS: Thanks for reporting back Teresa. Glad to know your tweaks worked out.


Cool. Home made natural energy cookies.


If I wanted to use shortening (trans fat free) instead of olive oil, would I use an equal amount? I forget what the shortening is made from, but I got it at Whole Foods. I really like the texture it gives in baking. Thanks!


Just made these for my friend who is training for the Nike Women's Marathon in October. They seem more scone-like to me. I'm flying out to see her tomorrow, so I hope they keep on the plane!


These cookies look totally up my alley-- hearty, healthy, full of goodies... I love how you used beans. I've done the black bean brownies thing before, but have never tried any other baked good with beans. BOOKMARKING!!! (even if I will never... EVER.... run a marathon)


What a great recipe! I love it when beans are used in sweet applications. Two thumbs up from The Soyfoods Council (and fellow marathon runner). Thanks for always creating interesting, innovative recipes Heidi! We're BIG fans!


Heidi said: I would be curious to know what sort of all-natural energy snacks you marathoners / ultra marathoners keep on hand. I am only in training for my first marathon, but on my longest run yet (20 miles) I used runny honey squeezed into tiny zip-lock bags. I'd read it contains just as many beneficial nutrients as those sports gels. (Just the thought of those artificial, coloured gels makes me sick...) It was great, and it gave me an instant energy boost at around miles 10 and 15. Maybe some of the effect was psychological, I don't know. But I intend to use it during my marathon too! I'm now on the lookout for those small sachets of honey I've seen in restaurants in the past (less messy than zip-locks!). I'm a vegan in principle, but I feel that I can go easy in this respect. I'm convinced that something 100% natural and organic has to be better for me and for the environment than those awful commercial, artificial gloops. I make my own sports drink for that same reason.


I made these at the weekend and I'm enjoying them as a late evening snack between working at a bakery, its a very invigorating and wholesome snack and I'm really enjoying them, thanks so much. Its certainly making my long evenings bearable. I've used the ground up dates, and its really nice to have them incorporated into the cookie. Love the flavor combo of date and anise.


It is an amazing recipe.......... I loved it a lot


Your hubby is one lucky man! I can't wait to try out this recipe, I'm drawn to anything related to running especially if a cookie is involved.


These cookies sound fantastic - I can't wait to try them! One comment - if you really want to stay away from high fructose corn syrup, you can use Rodelle Organic Vanilla extract - they make theirs with pure cane sugar.


these look great! I love the idea of eating something other than bagles and powerbars on race day. thx for the recipe!

Keep It Simple Foods

Hi learn how to eat balance diet so that you look healthy and fresh. bath daily so that your body look clean that also makes you healthy as well. Also make sure you brush your mouth daily with toothpaste and brush this make you healthy as well.


let us eat a balance diet so that our body will look fresh


I just made a batch using chinese five spice instead of aniseed. What a delicious aroma!! I manage to make 14 "monster" 1/4 cup sized cookies. They look very much like giant versions of yours :) I might use less sugar or skip the dates next time as I find them quite sweet. But still, I absolutely love them!! Thanks for the inspiration!!


What an interesting idea! I can hardly imagine beans in a cookie. I'll bet it makes it wonderfully rich!


Heidi, some sad news for you: The Maranui Surf club and cafe in Lyall Bay, Wellington NZ burnt down over the weekend All we Wellingtonians are very sad about this - Maranui was an institution! I thought you may be interested as you had mentioned the cafe in a post before. On a happier note: Congratulations to Wayne! I will be trying these cookies myself this week - they look lovely.


I saw these just as my boyfriend and I decided to train for a marathon, so they caught my eye. I just made them and they are delicious! I used the spelt flour suggestion, since I've been wanting to use that, and they turned out great! Very light and aromatic.


I'm thinking that any recipe that includes beans with some flour (whole wheat, of course) should make a complete protein as you are combining a bean with a grain there-which makes those recipes so exciting...I cannot wait to try! Imagine having a cookie or a brownie that gives you protein! Unbelievable!! I have run marathons in the past and now do triathlons and am crazy about this website too!

Judy Novotny

Its nice,i like cookies.I think,its good delicious cookies.


Hi Heidi, I am continually being blown away by your recipes - these cookies was the latest one I've tried and they are GREAT! At first I thought they would be heavy, because of the beans, but they are cake-light. Love your garbanzo and white beans salads, your curried egg-salad ... almost everything. Thank you so much for these wonderful recipes!


Make these over the weekend and subed out the beans for sweet potatoes. OMG, are they good.


I made these with adzuki beans and they are fantastic. The contrast of the dark red cookie and the sesame seeds is pretty. Made me think that it would be neat to try black sesame seeds with a cookie made with light colored beans. Or coat half the batch with each type of seed for a nice mix on a platter.


Cookies look fantastic, from someone who has finished a few marathons and eaten & baked alot of cookies! I'm sure he reminded you that it was 26.2 miles, not 26!! That 0.2 extra mile requires at least another cookie!


Wow these look great! I am not a marathon runner myself, but I have a feeling I would make my hard running friends very happy if I gave them a batch of these on race day!


Great idea! Just remember if using spelt, it will take more flour to make the right consistency. I finally got the Triple Ginger Cookie recipe to work out!


I have to try these, maybe the kids will eat them!


My husband works a physically demanding job, and takes stimulant medications, so has trouble keeping his weight up as a result. He's allergic to soy, peanuts and corn, and has been eating the worst junk ... I think these might fill him up and keep him going better than M&Ms and doughnuts (!!) and won't break the bank in the process! I look forward to trying it out on him. I've been worrying about his dietary choices ..... Thanks!


Any idea how many dried beans I should soak/cook to make the final measure (15 oz) from a can?


hi, i have been looking at the recipes of biscuits. I dont have and oven at home and there is no recipie in which cookies or biscuits are made without an oven. Can you help me in this regard. I do have a toaster oven but dont know how to use it and for what purpose it is used as there is no book with it. Please help me in this regard


Hi, lovely recipe thanks. I would prefer to use rice malt instead of sugar - have you tried, I wonder how this affects the texture of the cookies? Thanks Francoise


Hi Heidi, these cookies look really scrumptious. Question: I was wondering if I could use any other dried fruits besides dates. I love dates, but my sister is not a big fan of them. Do you think dried cranberries work with this recipe? HS: Sure! Swap in whatever dried fruits you like - or a combo.

Kamran Siddiqi

Hi Heidi, these cookies look really scrumptious. Question: I was wondering if I could use any other dried fruits besides dates. I love dates, but my sister is not a big fan of them. Do you think dried cranberries work with this recipe? HS: Sure! Swap in whatever dried fruits you like - or a combo.

Kamran Siddiqi

I thought I had done it all, but beans in cookies will be new for me. Love this idea and these look great!


my husband is a triathlete, and I have often wondered about a healthy, yummy post-race (or post-training) snack. these cookies couldn't have been easier to make, and they are DELICIOUS! hubby ate most of the batch after a 65-mile bike ride today. thanks!


Congrats Wayne, and thanks Heidi for these yummy looking cookies! I would have never thought to use beans, but I will give them a go!


I like the idea of using beans in cookies! I hope to try these sometime in the near future. I recently made your power bars and thought they were wonderful. When I volunteer at the food shelf for four hour periods they're a great snack to keep me going. I've been wanting to try a variation with peanuts and peanut butter. Do you have any suggestions?


I love sesame - I cook with sesame oil all the time. I was told that roasted sesame oil is not suitable for cooking...... is this true, anyone? HS: I typically use toasted sesame oil as more of a finishing accent, or blended with other oil(s) in marinades/dressings. I find that too much of it can be over-powering.

Shanta Sunderdas

My granddaughter helped me make a variation of these for afternoon tea at our racewalking club Saturday competition. We substituted ground star anise for the aniseed, and canned butter beans for the navy beans. They were a great hit. We also ran out of sesame seeds, and coated the last three in poppy seeds. This was okay, but not as good as the sesame seed version. At a 1/4 cup of mixture per cookie, our yield was 15 cookies.


Fascinating recipe! We'll try it in our kitchen and sample it out to some customers. Love the idea of beans in cookies. We're always looking for ways to make cookies and other bakery items healthier. Although we'll probably sub out the sugar for agave or fruit juice reduction. Just our thing. Thanks! Larry Maiman Mäni's Bakery Cafe

Larry Maiman

These cookies look great! My boyfriend is riding his bike from Alaska back down to SF and I'm meeting him in Portland next weekend. I thought these would be great for him to bring along on the remainder of his ride, but due to time constraints I'll have to bake them 5 days ahead of time. I've read through the comments but didn't see anything about freezing - how do you think that would work and defrost before I hope on the plane? Thanks!


Nice one! Very tasty snacks. I used 3/4 cup turbinado sugar and probably 1/2 cup dates. I used a full 1/4 cup measure and got 13 out the mix. My on hand sesame seeds are already baked, so 'remove biscuits when golden brown' is not an option. Not sure what texture is supposed to be (a limey biscuit is solid not moist, an American biscuit is a soggy scone) so I guessed it to be crunchy outside and slightly moist inside. Anyway I liked them. Keep 'em coming, Thanks

David Morton

I can't wait to try this recipe... I have a bean cookie recipe too... I use chickpeas and almond butter... lots of cinnamon. thanks again for another keeper!

lynne Frappier

Thanks to everyone for the congratulations, I finished with a smile, mainly because Heidi was waiting at the finish line for me :) In regards to the cookies, I ate most of the batch (and perhaps 5 or 6 after running the marathon) and never knew that beans were an ingredient until seeing them here on the site!


Heidi - I was recently diagnosed metabolic condition that puts me at high risk for insulin resistance. Even though I ate/eat a healthy diet, I loved sweet baked goods. Since being diagnosed, I chose to cut out all sugar and most carbohydrates from my diet. I feel much better and I can live without pasta and bread, but oh, how I miss cookies. It's not really the sweetness of cookies that I miss. It's that cookies are comfort food: they're handheld little treats with a satisfying bite that can't be replaced. I've been scouring the internet and cookbooks for "low glycemic index" or "low carb" or "diabetes friendly" cookie recipes, but nothing fit the bill. Either, the recipes were high in glycemic index (even applesauce is bad for me, but really it's the flour that's the carbo-culprit) or they were full of artificial junk (crisco and splenda, anyone). Your recipe has sugar, but it is the most balanced I've ever seen, with the beans and lots of rolled oats. All of this is to say: I could not thank you enough for posting this recipe. It is entirely IR friendly. I had heard of bean brownies, but I never thought of bean cookies. Putting pureed beans into batter will be a starting point for me to explore baking again. I'm going to see if I can adapt these to be sweetened with fresh stevia leaves instead of sugar. Also, just to add my own preference - unfortunately I can't stand anise! I'll give it a go with almond extract. Thanks for this great - and healthy - idea.


These look great! I ran the half marathon and came armed with the Hide Bread from last week for a post-race treat. I'm definitely going to try these for my next 10K...


I'm glad to see that you didn't replace all of the fat with the beans. I tried that once awhile back with black bean brownies and the texture was way off. The sesame seeds are an interesting thought. I bet you could play around with adding peanut butter in place of some of the beans, too, for an interesting flavor and it would still lend some fat to the recipe.


Yum! I am definitely going to try these. I also subscribed to your blog; it is a wonderful place to find healthy inspiration!


I was just thinking the other day that I wish I had more recipes that incorporate beans into sweets and snacks, so this is perfect! In fact, I made a batch of your amazing black bean brownies this week and am enjoying a piece right now with my morning coffee. Looking forward to more bean-centric recipes in the future!


Amazing! What a clever recipe! I love the crackle at the top! Is there a trick to getting it to do that or does it just occur naturally in these cookies? HS: Thanks Alex. The smaller version didn't crackle, but the larger baked up like that w/ no special tricks.


Oh wow, I am SO excited to try beans in my cookies! I love making healthy cookies. Heidi, I am so grateful to you for sharing your everyday cooking experiences and recipes. Thank you!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

Would some other flavoring beside aniseseed work? I am not a particular fan. Although the rest of the cookies sound wonderful!

Sheryl Greene

Stacey, you could use cannellini beans. Same as white kidney beans. Or try haricot beans, the kind of beans in baked beans. In England we have both of those - surely you have those in Eire?


Yummy! They look like a type of nutty, ouzo-laced, sesame coated Greek cookies my Yiayia (grandmother) makes. Have to try these! The thing is, over in Ireland, I have only ever seen the red kidney bean variety and I have never heard of or seen navy or great northern beans. Any ideas on a substitute???


I tumbled onto your site via I am so glad. What amazing pics and lovely recipes you have. I hope to get your updates by email. Thank you so much for sharing.

My Food and Life Encounters

I tumbled across your site via foodbuzz. I am so amazed: beautiful pics and very lovely recipes. I will be getting your recipes by email and can't wait! Thank you so much for sharing such wonderful food.

My Food and Life Encounters

Hej, thank your for this wonderful recipe. It sounds really good. Do you think I can make the cookies without the egg? Maybe the beans have enough binding properties? Thanks for your answer..:-)


Hej, thank you for that recipe. I just found your homepage with this wonderful idea. Do you think I can make the cookies without the egg? Maybe the beans have enough binding properties? Thanks for your answer :-)


These are great! Half cake, half biscuit. I substituted cardomon and powdered ginger for the aniseed, to great effect. My best running effort to date has been a half marathon - slow but completed - and I struggled to find vegetarian healthy, portable protein choices to eat during the training period. I'll try the Big Sur power bars next...


Excellent recipe! I turned them into chocolate chip cookies by omitting the anise seed and lemon zest and using 1 teaspoon of cinnamon instead. Instead of adding dates, I used 1 cup chocolate chips. Then I rolled the balls in raw sugar before flattening them.


We have been following your blog for a while & I had never made the connection that you were the author of Super Natural Cooking until I was referencing it tonight for one of our posts. Love your blog!


What a neat cookie idea!

Nutmeg Nanny

pretty good recipe and congrats to wayne


you said you'd done granola bars to death but I couldn't find one recipe for them. Please give me one or two suitable for lunch boxes (ie that won't go mushy and fall apart) HS: Here you go Jan. Big Sur Power Bars

jan dash

My husband has run 6 marathons, so I feel your pain regarding the early morning drive to the start line. I am definitely going to try these cookies. My husband was just mentioning that he wants to have something with higher protein post-run. With the addition of the beans, these would fit the bill perfectly!

Cookin' Canuck

Beans! I love the idea and am eager to try w/o the sugar and maybe some lavender or rosemary instead of the aniseed....a good friend of mine once made fabulous butter cookies and dropped in a whole bunch of fresh rosemary into the dough....DELIcious!


I start training for Philadelphia next week, so your recipe comes at a great time. I half-joke with people that I only run for the snacks, so I'm psyched to try out a cookie that's actually healthy! Love your blog. Thanks!


These look wonderful! I love the use of beans. Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland made a bean pie that was a treat every time I flew in/out of Oakland (now *there's* a recipe that could use your touch). I'm not much of a baker, but I can't wait to try these!


Thanks for posting. I'm training for my second marathon this fall and these look great. You mentioned granola bars in your notes and I've been looking for a good homemade granola bar recipe and haven't found one. Any chance you could post one? Thanks!


Any problem substituting Bob's Red Mill General Gluten Free Baking flour for the whole wheat?

Kat Carroll, Nutritional Therapy Prac.

I love it when you use beans in such unexpected ways! In cookies, indeed! I love the beans with brownies recipe you did some time ago, and now here's a new snack-with-beans! Now if you included a little pre-cooked (but not too moist) rice, the cookies would have all the amino acids needed to form a complete nutritional body-building protein (all the amino acids in meat, without the meat). Of course, corn would do the same thing as rice with beans, but somehow corn doesn't seem fitting in these cookies here. Please consider doing more recipes that combine beans with either rice or with corn because of the complete amino acid protein mix (you could live on beans with rice, or beans with corn, with little else needed in terms of protein -- though what's missing are some of the vitamins and minerals, so slightly more is needed to round out a full day's nutritional set). Please put your marvelous creativity to more unique recipes with beans combined with rice, or beans combined with corn, for nutrition's sake!


These sounds delicious, Heidi. I have an old German family recipe for anise bretel that has only three ingredient, but which I haven't made because it has instructions like "beat ingredients by hand for 45 minutes" and "let rise on a cookie sheet under the bed all night". This recipe may be just the thing to use up the anise seed I bought to make them.


Perfect! My partner is biking the Marin Century on Saturday, and since I can't make it, I've been trying to think of ways to make it up to him... This is such great timing! We've also made your granola bars for our various biking trips... unfortunately we used way too much espresso in the last batch (my miscalculation) and we haven't been able to shrug off the bad association... So glad to see another idea for an energy fix!


Yum! These would be a great alternative to energy bars on a backpacking trip.


I'd be making a lot of your recipes if it weren't for a picky husband .... but we are, in medical jargon, "old old" so I don't expect change. However, I have turned some of my children into fans. I am, and have always been, curious about what you do with the cookies etc. that don't please you. I can't picture your eating them to prevent waste, but.....!

Sybil Conn

Hi Heidi, Thanks for posting this recipe! I love this website btw... These cookies look awesome and I can't wait to try making them They remind me of a type of high energy bread I used to make called Logan bread. I have unfortunately lost that recipe :(... I was wondering what the difference is between whole wheat pasty flour and reg. whole wheat flour? Thanks again...


initially i thought you were gonna have a cookie marathon but no matter your marathon cookies looks yummy:)




Kudos to Wayne! Good thing you gave him the beans AFTER the race;-)


I loved the black bean brownies, and I love anything anisy so I must try these! Congratulations to Wayne! It's interesting that "marathon" is the Greek word for fennel... maybe you could use fennel seeds instead of aniseed next year? HS: Great tip Jennifer.


first of all, congrats to Wayne. I'd say the first one is painful and memorable but the second one is always more enjoyable- then you'll be hooked! Since i started running marathons, i've never been able to stop (no matter how often i gave my alarm clock the evil eye). I am the baker in my marathon posse and we've enjoyed your granola bars as breakfast on our races and to those sherpa-ing at the event. We had anzac cookies and homemade fig newtons for after the runs and snacks on the road. Thanks for developing this reciepe, i'm making them for my friends on our next big training day.


How did I I forget? GOOD JOB WAYNE!!!


What a cool idea. I want to try these. I'm doing my first event--the Danskin Triathlon in Seattle--in a few weeks and might bake up some for my post event recharge. But I'm wondering --like Kim above-- how long they keep. I wouldn't be able to bake them any sooner than 3 or 4 days before. Would they have to be chilled because of the beans?


These sound interesting, but all you runners out there should remember never to try something new before a race - ESPECIALLY if you, like I do, generally don't go fiber-heavy before a run. If you're used to running on carb gels or something like that, and switch to beany, fiber-rich cookies, you should make sure you're ready for the possible, um, consequences :) That said, these sound like great post-run snacks!


I'm interested to hear, Heidi, how Wayne felt eating these during the race? My experience has been bad with anything harder than a banana during a race, but energy blocks do get dull, so I'm willing to try it if he felt good. HS: He didn't eat them until after. He packs stuff into his pockets for the duration of the long runs - which is a whole other topic entirely. I would be curious to know what sort of all-natural energy snacks you marathoners / ultra marathoners keep on hand. Some of those goop/goos and certainly some of the uber-processed power bars I'm not a fan of.


I LOVE the sesame-seed coating and the extra protein idea with the beans. I can't wait to try the recipe. It's great to be able to run a marathon. What keeps us able to recover and do it again is what tools we give the body, in the form of vitamins, minerals and protein. Dean Karnazes, the ULTRA-MARATHON man (he wrote a wonderfully informative book) ran 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 states! He uses Shaklee's Joint Health Complex to rebuild cartilage in his hips, knees, etc., a product called Physique mixed in juice, water or milk that is a blend of protein and carbs taken within 2 hrs. after an extreme workout. (Or for the weekend warrior). He also uses their snack bars and whey for training. My best! Enjoy the summer.


These look fantastic, and I'm sure were a much-appreciated post-run treat! That 5:45a start time is a killer; I've always thought about doing the SF race but man ... so early. Maybe the sleepiness helps numb the pain of all the miles though -- plus, you're done way before noon!


I love baking with beans, but I haven't tried cookies yet so this will be fun.

Diann (aTxVegn)

I am new to this website, a girlfriend told me about it and I am loving the photos and the recipes...! My husband and I have both ran marathons! I have ran 8 and he has ran a few too, it is an amazing feeling when you cross that finish line, an adrenaline that you cannot experience any other way! Everyone should try it!! How did your husband do? We live in Sonoma, new to this area, married for a year and experimenting new recipes all the time! Thanks for sharing your stories!


Hi Heidi! Love your site, pics and recipes. I am allergic to sesame seeds - do you think poppy seeds might work here? HS: What about nuts? Try a nut version, or spice version.


Love this idea! I've been wanting to play with white beans in baked goods for a while, just haven't gotten around to it! The cookies look so pretty too.

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

I only ran one marathon, although I did train for three... injuries got in the way. The first marathon we never forget, but I bet his second was much more special thanks to your cookies :-) Congratulations to Wayne!


These are so Beautiful.....I love the addition of the beans. Thanks so much!


Oops...that should have been cardamom...didn't catch that typo!


Great Job Wayne!! I've run 2 marathons in Chicago. Before that Heidi, I was like you cheering my husband on for 4 marathons before I ever attempted doing it! He's doing the Jan. rock and roll marathon in Arizona, I might just have to make these for him! Great idea! HS: Good luck to him, and congrats to you. I think it's pretty safe to say I won't be running any marathons anytime soon. I think I'll stick to the support team side of the equation ;)


I thought of cardamon as an anise substitute...wonder how that would be? :)


I was running that day too and these would have beaten the post race food. Will try my hand at this next race! Or before!


I wonder if almond would work instead of anise? i also am not a big anise fan. HS: Go for it - maybe a splash of almond extract in the dough plus roll the cookies in chopped almond slices instead of the sesame seeds.

Liz C

Oh this one is definitely going into the TO BAKE folder ! A folder with an awful lot of your recipes. This one looks fantastic ! What an original recipe - that ingredient list is so diverse. For me, anything with dates in it catches my eye (love them!). Dates, sesame seeds, olive oil and beans - I can't wait to try! Thanks for the recipe !!

Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf

I've never thought of sesame seeds with cookies but it looks like it could work. They look really good!

Tabitha (From Single to Married)

Any info on how long these cookies keep before going stale? I'm planning a week-long camping trip at the end of the month and would love to bring something like this along. Some cookies get better with age, while others get hard and stale tasting. HS: I like the texture best in the few hours after they are baked. BUT its as if the flavor keeps developing overnight and the cookies taste even better the next day w/ more anise coming through. They get quite tender though. Store in air-tight container. They'll keep a couple days.

Kim (Edible/Usable)

I don't find it odd to have beans in your cookies... I've seen the black bean puree brownies everywhere the past couple of months!

The Kitchenette

i love habit of being! I'm definitely going to make these cookies - right up my alley. thank you!

Mae Bird

Hi Heidi - Amro & I are both big runners (trails mostly), and he also just ran the last 8 miles of the SF Marathon to help our friend finish her first marathon. These cookies look super tasty and a great snack to carry for fuel on our runs up in the Marin Headlands. Thanks for posting it, and congrats to Wayne on finishing the marathon! Harmony HS: Thanks Harmony! Trail running sounds fun. I just finished reading that new Christopher McDougall book - Born To Run. Fascinating.


awesome! I am doing a triathlon this weekend and a 1/2 marathon in the fall. I will give this a whirl and see how they go.


To answer my own question above: red lentils work great. I ran out of sesame seeds (didn't have much left anyway) so the last few got coated in finely chopped walnuts. They seem more like tea cakes than cookies to me really; but very tasty all the same.


Yum - can't wait to try these. :)


These sound great! I wonder if you have any suggestions for flavourings other than aniseed? The cookies sound great otherwise, but I really dislike aniseed... Running my first marathon in two weeks! Yikes!


How do you think other beans would work in this recipe? I have some chickpeas I could cook up (nothing canned). I also have some red lentils which might make a pretty colored cookie. HS: Hi Kat, white beans (particularly the canned ones) tend to be quite a bit creamier - but if you give the chickpeas a try with good results please report back :)


I wonder if I could take on the conversion to a dairy/gluten free version. Intriguing!

Hannah (Hannah's Harvest)

I am on a perpetual hunt for a delicious healthy cookie. Beans would surely do it. I have yet to try it but once my kitchen is back in working order (It was ripped out for a renovation on Monday and I am feeling well lost without it), beans beans beans good for the heart will find their way into my baking.

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen

Congratulations to Wayne on the marathon! They are addictive. I am dying to try these... white bean are so much cheaper and healthier than butter!


I love that you use whole wheat pastry flour. I'll make these tomorrow night for sure, they look great, plus I've never had a bean cookie before and somehow it sounds so right. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Dean E.

I also ran the SF Marathon this weekend!! My first one, actually. Of course, my knees still feel like they're on a boat in choppy seas, but I had a blast.... Just wish someone baked some Marathon cookies for me to chomp on after the race. Congrats Yse, maybe next year I'll bring a big basket of homemade post-run treats for any 101 Cookbooks readers who are running! -h


Wow! I think as long as I didn't tell my husband what was in them before he tried them, we'd be ok :) Oh, and way to go Wayne, for running a marathon! Whew!!! How did he like them??


Hello Heidi, Those cookies look really good! Beans? Why not they must give a nice texture. I thankfull for this post of yours because it reminds me of an energy cookie I came across while travelling trough India...I'll have to see If I wrote down the ingredients somewhere and start experimenting! Keep cooking! I love your ideas, Thank you for sharing them.


Hello Heidi, I'd thought the black bean brownies were interesting, but bean cookies sound fun, too... and I love how they look so cute covered in sesame seeds! Wayne, congratulations on completing your second full marathon...hope you're now well rested and taking it easy! x


My dad, being a terribly picky eater, just might love these. Especially when it comes to desserts. Usually, if it isn't triple dark chocolate mousse pie, he's not a fan. But I think the sesame seeds might win him over. Can't wait to try them out!


What a wonderfully creative idea! But I'm curious how Wayne did in the marathon?


Comments are closed.

Apologies, comments are closed.

More Recipes

101cookbooks social icon
Join my newsletter!
Weekly recipes and inspirations.

Popular Ingredients

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of its User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

101 Cookbooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Any clickable link to on the site is an affiliate link.