Benne Seed Cookies

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Benne Seed Cookies Benne Seed Cookies

Servings: 12 dozen cookies
Cook Time: 18 min
Difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients Add to grocery list

1 1/2 cups sesame seeds
1 (1-pound) box light brown sugar (2 1/2 cups, packed)
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract





Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

If you’re using raw sesame seeds, place the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for about 3 minutes, watching carefully. They should just begin to brown lightly. Set aside to cool completely.

Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer, cream the sugar, butter and eggs until very light, about 5 minutes. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and stir with the spatula until combined. Add the vanilla. Stir in the cooled sesame seeds. Drop the batter by 1/2 teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets, 1 inch apart. It takes just a dab of batter to produce quarter-sized cookies. They will spread into perfect circles during baking.

Bake until very brown but not burned at the edges, about 14 to 15 minutes. Important: Let the cookies cool completely on the parchment paper, then peel them away from the paper. Store between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container. These cookies freeze well in tins. They will crumble in a plastic freezer bag.

This recipe is one of our Gifts from the Kitchen. Click here to see other Gifts from the Kitchen.

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Reader Comments:


It's so funny, my husband just came back from the Smokey Mountains with a bag of these wonderful little bits. I gobbled them down. yum, yum,yummy. Planted the sesame seed in my brain to look for the recipe and never did. And thank goodness i am on this mailing list cause here they are. I know they will be great as i have never made a Paula recipe i did not like!! I will whip me up a batch this weekend! thank you Paula, Love you gal!! ellen J>

By ellen jahns on October 12, 2012


I tried these and they were awesome!!! My kids LOVED them they're 6 and 8. Some how mine weren't as crispy as the ones in the picture look. I guess I used too much dough in my cookies. But they were some of the best cookies Ive ever made.

By Anonymous on December 03, 2010


By Anonymous on January 29, 2010


By Anonymous on January 21, 2010


Had these tasty bites many years ago in Charleston. 1st time I've seen the recipe. They MAY be the Very Best ever !!!LOVE them just as is, BUT decided to make a sandwich with Nutella between two of them ---WONDERFUL also, since my G.D. SAGE loves Chocolate, we'll try dipping some of them just half way in That heavenly Stuff !!! YUM !!! jwh

By Anonymous on November 21, 2009


My friends and family love these little cookies. They are addictive!

By Anonymous on November 11, 2009


I made these at Christmas and they were a tremendous hit. Either I made them too small or they make many more than the recipe indicated. It made 11 dozen. All were greedily consumed by friends and family. I just bought more sesame (benne) seeds to make them again. Worth the effort of filling all those cookie sheets.

By mamasevi on April 19, 2009

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