Friday, September 10, 2021
Benne wafers have been unique to the Lowcountry since Colonial times. Benne seeds (sesame seeds) were brought to the colonies from Africa by the African enslaved people in the early 1700s. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium, vitamins B and E, zinc, iron, and protein.
Benne wafers are a special Southern treat.
1 cup sesame seeds
¾ cup dark brown sugar
4 T unsalted butter, softened
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ t sea salt
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ t sea salt
¼ t baking powder
1 t fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ t pure vanilla extract
In a large, non-stick skillet, over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds until light golden brown. Shake pan or stir constantly.
In a mixer with a paddle attachment, or by spoon in a large bowl, beat or mix the brown sugar and butter together until thoroughly combined and smooth.
Beat in the whisked egg.
Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
Add these dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix well.
Stir in the toasted sesame seeds, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.
Place bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Get out 3 large baking sheets and line with parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Drop by teaspoonful or with the smallest ice cream scoop onto prepared baking sheets. Leave a 2 inch space between cookies, so they can spread without touching another cookie.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.
Cool for a couple of minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely.
Makes 36 to 40 cookies.