Calling all cookie connoisseurs and baking buffs! Buckle up for a deep dive into the world of Sesame Cookies, those little golden nuggets bursting with nutty flavor and sprinkled with toasted seeds.
This guide is your passport to sesame stardom, packed with fun facts, historical tidbits, and of course, the ultimate recipe for Best Sesame Cookies ever.
From Ancient Sesame to Modern Munchies:
Sesame seeds have been tantalizing taste buds for millennia. Traces of these tiny treasures have been found in Mesopotamian tombs dating back to 3000 BC! Fast forward to the present day, and sesame seeds have conquered kitchens across the globe, adding their unique crunch to everything from stir-fries to sushi. But here, we celebrate their starring role in the realm of sesame cookies.
Sesame Cookies: A Global Affair:
These crunchy wonders boast a surprisingly diverse family tree. In Japan, fragrant goma cookies are thin and crisp, studded with black and white sesame seeds. In the Middle East, ka’ak bread gets a sweet and seedy makeover, often glazed with honey or sprinkled with sesame. Back in the West, American-style sesame cookies like the iconic Aunt Anne’s creations are softer and thicker, offering a satisfyingly chewy bite.
Why We Love Sesame Cookies:
So, what makes these seedy treats so darn irresistible? Well, for starters, there’s the toasty, nutty flavor of the sesame seeds. They add a depth of richness that plain old sugar cookies just can’t compete with. Then there’s the satisfying crunch – each bite explodes with a delightful textural contrast against the soft cookie dough. And let’s not forget the visual appeal: those tiny toasted seeds speckled across the golden surface are like little edible jewels.
The Ultimate Sesame Cookie Recipe:
Ready to whip up a batch of your own sesame-studded masterpieces? Look no further! This recipe combines the best of all worlds, with a touch of chewy American-style dough and a generous sprinkle of toasty goodness.
1. Unsalted Butter:
The backbone of any great cookie recipe, softened unsalted butter provides richness and moisture to the dough. Its creamy texture ensures a tender crumb in the finished cookies, while its subtle flavor acts as a canvas for the other ingredients to shine.
2. Granulated Sugar:
Sweetness is essential in any dessert, and granulated sugar not only sweetens these cookies but also aids in creating a light and airy texture. As it combines with the butter, sugar adds structure and helps to create a golden-brown exterior during baking.
3. Large Egg:
Acting as a binding agent, the egg helps hold the cookie dough together while providing structure and stability. At room temperature, the egg incorporates more easily into the dough, ensuring a uniform consistency throughout.
4. Anise Extract (Optional):
Adding a unique twist to the flavor profile, anise extract brings a hint of licorice-like aroma and taste to the cookies. Its inclusion is optional but adds depth and complexity to the overall flavor, elevating the cookies to a new level of sophistication.
5. All-Purpose Flour:
The main component of the dough, all-purpose flour provides the necessary structure and bulk to the cookies. Its protein content gives the cookies structure, while its gluten-forming properties contribute to their chewy texture.
6. Baking Powder:
Responsible for leavening the cookies, the baking powder helps them rise and achieve a light and fluffy consistency. Its chemical reaction with the other ingredients creates air bubbles in the dough, resulting in a soft and tender crumb.
Despite being a small component, salt plays a crucial role in enhancing the overall flavor profile of the cookies. It balances the sweetness of the sugar and enhances the other flavors, creating a more complex and well-rounded taste.
Adding moisture and richness to the dough, milk helps bring the ingredients together while ensuring a soft and tender texture in the finished cookies. Its addition also contributes to a smoother consistency, making the dough easier to work with.
9. Sesame Seeds:
The star of the show, sesame seeds provide a delightful crunch and nutty flavor to these cookies. Toasted to perfection, they add a pop of texture and visual appeal, making each bite a delightful experience.
With these carefully selected ingredients, you’re sure to create a batch of irresistible sesame-studded cookies that will delight your taste buds with every bite!
Sesame Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup 226 grams unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup 150 grams granulated sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons anise extract
- 2 ½ cups 312 grams all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup 120 ml milk, or as needed
- 1 cup 100 grams sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and anise extract until well combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Stir in the milk until the dough comes together.
- Pinch off small pieces of dough, about the size of a walnut, and roll them into balls. Dip each ball in the milk, then roll in the sesame seeds to coat.
- Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch of space between them.
- Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the bottoms are lightly golden brown.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- For a stronger anise flavor, you can toast the sesame seeds before rolling the dough in them.
- You can also use a cookie scoop to portion the dough for even-sized cookies.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- The original recipe calls for using a stand mixer to mix the dough for an extra minute. This is not necessary, but it can help to make the dough lighter and airier.
- The original recipe also suggests dipping the cookies in milk before rolling them in the sesame seeds. This is optional, but it helps the sesame seeds to stick to the dough.
- The cookies will not spread very much in the oven, so you can place them close together on the baking sheet.
Sesame Cookie FAQ
Can I omit the anise extract?
Absolutely! Some folks prefer the pure sesame flavor, while others enjoy the subtle licorice touch of anise. Feel free to experiment and find your perfect sesame cookie harmony.
Can I use different types of sesame seeds?
Go for it! Black sesame seeds add a dramatic visual flair, while toasted sesame seeds bring an extra layer of nutty depth. The choice is yours!
How can I store these cookies?
Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them for longer storage. Just thaw them at room temperature before enjoying them.
The Final Sesame Salute:
Ladies and gentlemen, behold the timeless delight! Sesame cookies, born from ancient traditions and evolved into contemporary marvels, have tantalized palates across centuries.
With this recipe in hand and a touch of baking passion, you’re poised to craft your collection of these warm, nutty, and exquisitely delightful treats. Roll up your sleeves, embrace the joy of baking with sesame, and always bear in mind:
A cookie bereft of sesame is akin to a melody without its rhythm – lacking that extra dash of flair! So, whip up a batch, spread the sesame-infused bliss, and keep in mind:
If you’ve savored this dessert, explore further by indulging in our flourless peanut butter cookies.