Healthy Snacks: Sesame Wafer Cookies

Sesame Benne Wafer Cookies l Healthy snacks are on the way l Homestead Lady (.com)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.

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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 Wafers

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.

Sesame Wafer Cookie Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time-ish
10 mins
Total Time-ish
25 mins

These cookies are suitable both for a light snack, and a lightly sweet treat.  They're also sturdy enough to ship to loved ones for the holidays.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: care package, holiday
Serving Suggestion: 6
  • 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
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking sheet(s) with silicone mats or light spritz of oil of choice.
  2. 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.
  3. Drop the dough from rounded 1/2 teaspoons (seriously, that's all) onto baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches spacing around cookies for them to spread out.
  4. Bake on a middle rack for 10-12 minutes or until they begin to turn a golden, caramel color.
  5. Remove the cookies from the oven and let stand for about a minute so they can set up, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  6. To store these cookies, layer between sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container.
Recipe Notes

*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:

  1. The key to shipping cookies well seems to be not allowing for any wiggle room in the packaging
  2. Wrap the coolies securely in each layer of parchment paper
  3. Pick the right recipe. A meringue cookie will NOT be good past a few minutes, let alone for a whole trip!
  4. 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. You can also visit her Pinerest board to find ideas on military care packages. If anyone deserves a cookie, its these ladies and gentlemen!


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8 thoughts on “Healthy Snacks: Sesame Wafer Cookies

  1. Tessa, these Benne Wafers look so good. Did you know that sesame seeds were originally eaten in these cookies for good luck? Your recipe is full of healthier ingredients, so they probably are luckier too. 🙂 I LOVE your cookies on a postcard. That would be a much easier, but less tasty way to mail cookies! p.s. Thank you for the link to The Monday Box military care package posts!

  2. Tessa, these look delicious. Thanks for pointing out how far apart to place them on the cookie sheet. It reminds me of the sesame wafers I used to buy when I was a kid. My favorite candy.

  3. And here I thought sesame seeds were just for the tops of hamburger buns 😉 – and tahini, of course. These look so good. It’s been fun to discover so many cookies that are actually healthy for you in this cookie month project.

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