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Benne Seed Cookies

30 cookies

45 minutes

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Sesame seeds are known as benne seeds in the South, and these cookies are a nod to traditional Southern benne wafers. The unconventional addition of tahini reinforced the nutty notes of the toasted sesame seeds, and browned butter brought richness and depth of flavor. We liked these made with a mixture of black and white sesame seeds. Black sesame seeds are sold in natural foods stores, Asian markets and in the international aisle of well-stocked supermarkets. Try to purchase seeds that are not pretoasted; if they are, use them straight from the package and toast only the white sesame seeds. If you cannot find black sesame seeds, you can make the cookies with just white. Turbinado sugar is a coarse raw sugar with a light golden color; it gives the cookies interesting texture as well as hints of molasses.




Don’t toast the black and white sesame seeds separately. Since the black sesame seeds won't darken in color as they cook, the color of the white seeds will help you gauge doneness. As you toast, stir frequently and pay attention, as they burn easily.

45 minutes


  • 80

    grams (½ cup) white sesame seeds

  • 84

    grams (½ cup) black sesame seeds


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Thomas F.
January 12, 2023
Kettle Corn
If you like kettle corn and you want that flavor in a cookie form, this is your recipe.
Cheryl W.

I was surprised how crisp the cookies became after cooling. I assumed with all the fat the would be soft. I was looking for a softer cookie. They are good.