Benne Wafers

November 20, 2015
4.3 Stars
Photo by James Ransom
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." —Food52

  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sabra Harris
    Sabra Harris
  • carladenise

2 Reviews

Sabra H. January 24, 2017
I agree about the benne wafer recipe, but this one is the closest to the Charleston Favorites I have purchased at Southern Season. The others have too much flour or something. I watched the factory make them on Utube and they used a higher temperature which does make them a little crunchier if you can get them out before they burn.
carladenise December 13, 2016
The recipe must be off - the butter ratio couldn't be correct.