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Once while visiting Charleston, South Carolina, I had the opportunity to try a delightful little cookie called a benne wafer. It was crispy and filled with sesame seeds. I was inspired by this cookie to make a sesame cookie recipe of my own. My cookies have fewer sesame seeds than a benne wafer does, and are flavored with honey, which I consider to be an excellent compliment to the taste of sesame seeds.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon honey, (a darker honey works best)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 cup flour
- Preheat oven to 350° F to toast sesame seeds. (If you have sesame seeds that are already toasted, go to step 2.) Place the sesame seeds on a pan with sides (such as a jelly roll pan or cake pan) and shake to create an even layer of seeds on the bottom of the pan. Roast the seeds for 2-1/2 minutes, then stir them so they will cook evenly. Roast for another 2-1/2 minutes, or until you can smell them cooking. (Watch them once they have been in the oven for four minutes total. If they start to smoke or smell as if they are burning, remove them from the oven immediately!) Cool the toasted seeds on a plate.
- Preheat oven to 325° F. (Or lower oven to this temperature after toasting the sesame seeds.)
- Cream butter and sugars together in a mixing bowl. Add the egg and honey and whisk in well.
- Stir in the baking soda and salt. Add the toasted sesame seeds and thoroughly combine with dough. Stir in the flour.
- Drop dough onto a cookie sheet that has either been lightly greased or lined with parchment paper. The dough should form roughly 1-inch mounds. Space the cookies 1-1/2 to 2 inches apart as they will spread a lot.
- Bake for 12 to 12-1/2 minutes for a cookie with a crunchy edge and chewy center. Bake for 13 to 14 minutes for a cookie that is completely crunchy. (The cookies with chewy centers will be dark only around the edges; the crunchy cookies will be dark through to the center.) Cool the cookies on the pan for 4 to 5 minutes, then remove them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store those that are not enjoyed right away in an airtight container or lock-top bag.
- Sesame seeds can be bought already toasted, so if you need to make these cookies in a limited amount of time, having pre-toasted seeds is helpful.
- I put about 1-1/2 inches between the cookies on the pan for the pictures. Some of them did run together a bit while cooking, which was not a big deal as I was not taking them anywhere. If you want them to be perfectly round, though, place them two inches apart.
- I recommend using a medium to dark-colored honey since it has a stronger taste. The flavor of a light-colored honey would tend to not come through enough in comparison to the flavor of the sesame seeds.
- I had one person who tried these declare them to be too sweet for her taste. If you find them to be so yourself, simply add 1/4 teaspoon more salt to the dough.