Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Benne Seed Cookies

These are the best biscuits I have ever baked, full stop. I will never bake anything even close to these. I made the batch to give away in a sort of pre-May day basket of treats...but I ended up giving away mostly candy as these are staying right here with me (and my hips). Oh dear god, these are really good.

The recipe is from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies. The title isn't an exaggeration-just about all the cookies in the volume are winners (the coconut washboards are really delicious). If you make these, be sure to bother toasting the sesame seeds ahead of time-it is worth the bother as it really brings out the sesame flavour. Living in a home with someone allergic to peanuts has changed the way I do many things in the kitchen. Sometimes, I really miss peanut butter cookies, which these really remind me of. In fact, to be completely honest, these are better than any peanut butter cookie I ever tasted.

You Will Need:

3/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted in a pan until just brown, then cooled.
1/4 pound butter
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup milk (I used whole)

Cream the butter and then add the vanilla, salt, and sugar. Mix well. Add the egg and beat well. Add half the flour, then the milk, then remaining flour. Mix in cooled sesame seeds.

If dough is too soft to form a roll, chill it in the bowl for a bit. Roll dough in a piece of wax paper until you have a strip about 12 inches long, 3/4 inch wide, and 1 inch thick. Place wrapped dough on a cookie sheet and freeze overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cover two baking sheets with foil.

With a sharp, heavy knife, slice dough into 1/4 inch slices and place 1 inch apart on sheets. Bake about 15 minutes, rotating pan once at the halfway point. Cookies will be brown on edges but pale on top. Transfer to racks until cool.

Try not to eat them all in a single sitting.

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