Probably the most sophisticated yet simple cookies you'll get your hands on this season. They are sweet but savory, crumbly but firm, and just perfect for a holiday gathering or cocktail party. And they freeze wonderfully.
These cookies are unique and not what you might expect. Something similar to the olive sablés cookies.
They melt in your mouth and have a flavor that is not too sweet. A perfect companion for your drink of choice at a cocktail party or holiday gathering.
My holidays happen during the Summer, and turning on the oven is avoided at all costs.
But these white and black sesame cookies are worth the oven and heat. Very much worth it. They are a wonderful addition to your holiday buffet table.
They are an adaptation of a seaweed cookie from the great David Lebovitz, one of my favorite recipe developers and bakers. I made them for the first time many years ago, and they have become a classic at my house.
What are sesame seeds?
They are edible seeds that grow in the pods of the sesame plant.
They are highly nutritious and also consumed in the form of oil, an ingredient very used in Asian and Indian cuisine.
They can be black or white; we're using both today for these cookies. The flavor hardly differs between them, but the black seeds mark a visual difference.
- Sesame seeds: for visual reasons (they look so pretty!) I use two colors of sesame seeds, but you can use only one. The flavor will be the same. Use just black seeds and make black sesame cookies.
- Sesame oil: it is a fantastic ingredient, very fragrant and with a unique flavor. It adds a rich quality and unmistakable note to a dish. Use sparingly as it is very strong.
- Olive oil: use your favorite brand or the one you have in your house. It's a small amount.
- Powdered sugar: also called confectioners or icing sugar, you can easily buy it online. Domino powdered sugar is a very popular one.
- Salt: I like using kosher salt or fine sea salt when baking. But regular table salt works just fine.
- All-purpose flour.
- Egg yolk.
It's a one-bowl recipe where all ingredients are simply mixed. Well mixed, but there's no need for creaming or beating.
I use my hand whisk and a spatula to combine the dough well. But you can use only a spatula or even a wooden spoon. Just a little armpower is needed.
Take the dough cylinder (image above) out at room temperature and wait about 15 minutes until it loses the hard freeze. Cut them while they're still very cold, but the knife (a large, sharp kitchen knife is highly recommended) goes down swiftly.
Don't wait until they soften as they will not hold their shape and be tough after baking.
The dough expands about an inch, so keep that in mind when placing them on the lined cookie sheet.
After cutting them, you can manually arrange the round shapes so they are more even. As you can see, my cookies are quite uneven, haha.
The size of the cookie will depend on the size of the cylinder.
- Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
- Baking time: consider that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer(like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Storage: The dough for these sesame cookies freezes wonderfully. Make a large batch, divide in cylinders and freeze well wrapped. Cut them as soon as you can; don't wait for them to come to room temperature.
Related recipes you might like:
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- 6 tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Scant 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1 and ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose or cake flour
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds (I use black and white)
- In a bowl mix soft butter with powdered sugar.
- Add egg yolk and mix well.
- Add salt, both oils, seeds and mix everything until combined.
- Add flour and combine until no dry spots remain.
- Put this mixture on a piece of plastic wrap, making a cylinder or log parallel to the counter, leaving a border of about 2 inches.
- Start by folding the side close to you over the log of cookie mixture, as you would a cinnamon roll. Then go back and forth so the plastic clings and encloses the whole log.
- Grab the platic by both ends and roll, closing the ends. The plastic will probably bulge a bit. Prick it lightly with a fork once or twice to let the air out. This will ensure the dough remains soft and doesn't dry out.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for up to 1 month.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Take out the cookie dough and cut circles about ⅓ inch.
- Arrange on prepared sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes, until they are dried, a bit crackled and starting to turn golden.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack and keep in closed tins or cookie jars.
Freezing: you can make a large batch and freeze the cylinders.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Cookies & Crackers
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: International
- Serving Size: 1/30
- Calories: 63
- Sugar: 3.9 g
- Sodium: 78.4 mg
- Fat: 3.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 7.4 g
- Fiber: 0.2 g
- Protein: 0.7 g
- Cholesterol: 12.3 mg
Keywords: sesame cookies