These delicate looking benne wafers are crunchy with a subtle nutty taste, thanks to sesame seeds. These seeds were brought over from West Africa, and thought to bring good luck. In the coastal area around Charleston, South Carolina of the U.S.A, sesame seeds are known as “benne” seeds.
|Unsalted butter, softened||1 Tbsp|
|Light brown sugar, firmly packed||2/3 cup|
|Sesame seeds||½ cup|
|All purpose flour||2 Tbsp|
|Baking powder||1½ tsp|
|Vanilla extract||½ tsp|
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Beat softened butter in a bowl using a wooden spoon. Then add brown sugar and stir vigorously to combine well.
- Add egg and stir thoroughly. Next come sesame seeds, flour, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix them all together until just combined.
- Drop batter on prepared cookie sheets by ¼ teaspoonfuls, spacing at least 2-inches apart. These sesame cookies will spread.
- Bake until medium golden brown or about 7 minutes. Wafers should have a uniform golden brown color with crispy edges. They will firm up upon cooling even though the middle may still be soft when fully baked.
Slide parchment paper with cookies on it over to a wire rack to cool completely. Store them in an airtight container to preserve their crispness.
This great recipe for benne wafers is in A Baker’s Field Guide to Christmas Cookies written by Dede Wilson and published by The Harvard Common Press, 2003.