Maybe 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 party. And they freeze wonderfully, of course.
How are you getting ready for the string of celebrations coming your way?
Though most of you reading this are about to go deep into the Winter season, my holidays are sunny and warm. So our list of food tends to be simple and not laborious as we try to keep the oven to a minimum.
They are an adaptation of a seaweed cookie from the great David Lebovitz, one of my favorite recipe developers and bakers out there. 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 (image below), and we're using both today for these cookies. The flavor hardly differs between the two, but the black seeds make a visual difference.
They are not so everyday pantry staples (image below), but they are worth looking for.
- 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.
- 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 strong.
- Olive oil: use your favorite brand or the one you have in your house. It's a small amount.
- Powdered sugar: this type of sugar has a lot to do with the crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth quality of these cookies. So don't substitute it for regular sugar.
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 for combining the dough well. But you can use only a spatula or even a wooden spoon. Just a little arm power needed.
Storing the dough
The dough for these sesame cookies freezes wonderfully.
I like to make a large batch, especially when I have celebrations coming soon, divide the raw dough in cylinders and freeze them.
To bake: simply take the dough cylinder (image above) out at room t°, and wait 15 minutes or so until it loses the hard freeze. Cut them while they're still very cold but the knife (a large, sharpen 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 baked.
The dough expands an inch or so (image above) so keep that in mind when placing them in the lined cookie sheet.
You can manually arrange the shape after cutting them so they are more evenly round. As you can see, my cookies are quite uneven, haha.
The size of the cookie will depend on the size of the cylinder.
They are a wonderful addition to your holiday buffet.
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- 6 tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, at room t°
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Scant 1 cup (110g) powdered sugar
- 1 egg yolk, at room t°
- 1 and ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (155g) 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
- Cook Time: 15
- 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
- Protein: 0.7 g
- Cholesterol: 12.3 mg
Keywords: sesame cookies