Benne Wafers

By Food52
November 20, 2015
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Author Notes: Excerpted from The Gourmet Cookie Book (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010) and slightly adapted.

"Preparing for Christmas, Gourmet's editors suggested a few mail-order gifts. These included: 6 live Maine lobsters, packed in seaweed and shipped in a free kettle ($9.92); a brace of Texas pheasants ($9); three 2-foot-long Louisiana sugarcanes ($1.19); a dozen sweet, stringless Colorado Pascal celery stalks "in a gay box" ($5.75); 3 Cornish pullets from the Danish humorist and musician Victor Borge, who bragged that his birds ate better than he did ($12.50); and 8 dozen fresh Long Island oysters in the shell ($5.50). If you wanted to offer your friends sweet benne wafers from South Carolina however, the only option was to make them yourself. A tin of the thin, chewy, caramelized sesame-seed cookies ("benne" is an African word for "sesame"), with their stark nutty goodness, is a truly wonderful gift."

Makes: 4 dozen

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup hulled sesame seeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and smooth.
  3. Add the egg, flour, salt, vanilla, and sesame seeds. Mix.
  4. Drop from a teaspoon onto a cookie sheet lined with Silpat. Flatten the wafers with a knife dipped in ice water to flatten.
  5. Bake for 6 minutes.

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