I’m a pretty sneaky mom sometimes. I’m forever trying to hide nutritious items into everyday healthy snacks and treats. Well, here’s a recipe that combines both: Benne Sesame Wafer Cookies.
For more ideas on how to healthify your homestead kitchen, be sure to check out The Homestead Kitchen chapter of our book, The Do It Yourself Homestead. If you’d like to see a sample from that section, feel free to contact me through the site. I may just send along a little gift, too. With over 400 pages of homesteading how-to’s, DIY tips, goals and resources, you’re bound to find something in The Do It Yourself Homestead that will be helpful to you. Click here to learn more about the book or click on the picture below:
The Value of Sesame Seeds in Healthy Snacks
First of all, if you’re interested in knowing more about the health benefits of the humble sesame seed, you can start by reading this informative little piece.
Sesame seeds are the oldest known seed oil crop in the world. Why? Because they taste magically delicious. Did you ever stop to think what your hummus might taste like without tahini (sesame seed butter)? Or your teriyaki without toasted sesame added? I shudder to think.
Turns out sesame seeds are pretty handy in desserts, too. I was reading along in my copy of A Love Affair With Southern Cooking and ran across the recipe for Benne Wafers. What on earth is benne, I asked.
Benne is what Southern Americans call sesame seeds, from the African Bantu for sesame. Some plantation owners of the past provided land enough for their slaves to grow some or all of their own food. Alongside greens and eggplant, there would be benne plants.
Jean Anderson, the author, has a really cool history on benne seeds in the South included with this recipe. As a matter of fact, this book is a treasure of information, history and recipes of the American South. I adapted her fabulous recipe below to make these healthy snacks.
Sesame Wafer Cookie Recipe
These cookies are suitable both for a light snack, and a lightly sweet treat.
- 1/4 Cup Butter
- 1/4 Cup Raw Sugar or Sucanat or Rapadura*
- 1/4 Cup Organic Cane Sugar
- 1 Tsp. Vanilla
- 1 Small to Medium Sized Egg
- Pinch Sea salt
- 1/2 Cup Unbleached Flour
- 1/4 Cup Lightly Toasted** Sesame Seeds
- 1/2 Tsp. Nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350°F/176°C. Prepare baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or light spritz of oil of choice.
- Cream the butter, sugars, and vanilla on med/high speed until fully mixed. On low speed, beat in the egg, then the flour, salt, and nutmeg. Fold in the sesame seeds.
- Drop the dough from rounded 1/2 teaspoons (no more than that!) onto baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches spacing around cookies for them to spread out.
- Bake on a middle rack for 10-12 minutes or until they begin to turn a golden, caramel color.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and let stand for about a minute so they can set up, then transfer to a cooling rack.
- To store these cookies, layer between sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container.
*If you use sucanat/Rapadura, your cookies will be slightly darker and also slightly less sweet. Just an fyi.
** To toast your sesame seeds, spread them on an ungreased, oven safe dish. Then set the dish on the middle rack of your oven and turn to 275 degrees for 10-ish minutes, stirring now and then. Watch these buggers carefully because they burn easily. Ask me how I know.
Shipping and Gifting Your Healthy Snacks
Since this week is our Best Shippers theme for Cookie Month 14, I wanted to find something that we could send without falling apart. We hit gold with these sesame wafer cookies! We sent a test batch to Kathie from Homespun Seasonal Living as a small thank you for being the genius behind Cookie Month 14. Her husband reported that he didn’t spy even a crack before he wolfed them down. Sweet.
Tips for shipping cookies:
- The key to shipping cookies well seems to be not allowing for any wiggle room in the packaging
- Wrap the coolies securely in each layer of parchment paper
- Pick the right recipe. A meringue cookie will NOT be good past a few minutes, let alone for a whole trip!
- Pick the right shipping box. It needs to be strong and not too big.
Gift Your Cookies Today!
Now, go ahead and make some sesame seed wafer cookies and ship them to someone who really needs a cookie. I, for example, happen to love these cookies, if you needed an idea on a recipient.
Even better, how about a service man or woman? For good ideas on how to make a care package for mailing and how to mail healthy snacks and treats properly, please visit this link from The Monday Box.