The recipe I had for these cookies was a bit vague-"shortening" (no mention if liquid or solid) and "Dump it all in a bowl and mix by hand." Instead, I gave it a re-working and ended up with these lovely, albeit plain cookies just begging for a cup of good strong coffee.
The original recipe came from a cookbook put out by our local bank in East Boston, many years ago. I'm sure someone asked their grandmother how she made her seed cookies and the instructions sort of reflect that. If I made these again I might add a bit of orange juice, or zest, possibly even some anise seed inside. Plain as they are, they make a nice base to be split and filled with jam, if you must sweeten them up. Danny liked them just fine and if a three year old thinks they are sweet enough, they probably are.
You Will Need:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons solid shortening
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 to 1/2 cup (or more) milk
1 cup sesame seeds
Sift together the dry ingredients and cut in the shortening. Add the eggs and enough milk to make a firm but not too dry dough. You need to be able to roll it in a ball, so if it crumbles badly, add more milk taking care not to add too much. The recipe called for 1/4 cup and I ended-up using 1/2 a cup but I also used a new flour-so I'm not positive what was going on.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll into balls the size of a shooter marble (what? You didn't play marbles as kids? Fine, about half the size of a golf ball) and then roll in the sesame seeds. I baked mine on silicone pads, but parchment would be OK too. The recipe didn't specify a greased or ungreased sheet so I'd err on the side of caution and grease if you lack parchment or pads.
Bake 15-20 minutes depending on size until cookies are dry and just becoming golden on top. Cool on racks.