Kwanzaa Cookies (Benne Wafers)

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Kwanzaa Cookies – Benne Wafers

These cookies are named because of their main ingredient … the benne (or sesame seeds). Originating in West Africa, sesame seeds were brought over to the U.S. by slaves and cultivated. Sesame Seeds are thought to bring good luck because only a few handfuls survived the trip. These “good luck” cookies are typically served during Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States (and, more recently, Canada) but also celebrated in the Western African Diaspora. The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture, and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. Kwanzaa has seven core principles (Nguzo Saba): Unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. (Wikipedia)

Kwanzaa Cookies - Benne Wafers Follow Me on Pinterest

Kwanzaa Cookies – Benne Wafers

I love trying new things so when I saw this recipe I knew that I would have to make these. The combination of flavors (sesame, salt, brown sugar) and textures (chewy, crunchy) was so unique that I’m glad I did.

Kwanzaa Cookies - Benne Wafers

Kwanzaa Cookies – Benne Wafers

I hope this means that I’m going to have good luck in the new year now :-)

Kwanzaa Cookies (Benne Wafers)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance (vegan butter substitute)
  • 1 cup Whey Low Gold (lower carb brown sugar substitute)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda).
  2. In stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light & fluffy.
  3. Add egg and vanilla to creamed mixture.
  4. Slowly add flour mixture.
  5. Stir in sesame seeds by hand.
  6. Place cookie dough in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Drop cookies by tablespoon onto prepared sheet pan (greased or parchment paper).
  9. Bake for 8 minutes.
  10. Place cookie dough in refrigerator between batches.

Recipe adapted from About.com (http://baking.about.com/od/cookies/r/bennewafers.htm)

http://foodstoriesblog.com/2012/12/28/kwanzaa-cookies-benne-wafers/

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What do you think?

  1. Wow, cool, I’ve never heard of benne cookies but they look great! The only sesame seed treat I’ve ever had is Asian sesame bars, which I have a weakness for even though they are so chewy and sticky. These benne cookies could be a great make at home alternative, though I think I would probably substitute coconut sugar, which I already have.
    Mary recently posted … Potato Enchiladas VerdesMy Profile

  2. I love sesame cookies – these look great. I hope your holiday has been great, and that you have a Happy New Year!
    john recently posted … Smoky Salmon and Cream Cheese DipMy Profile

  3. I didn’t know that sesame cookies (which I love!) were traditional for Kwanzaa. I say, let’s celebrate! :)
    Anita at Hungry Couple recently posted … Skinny Cocoa MartiniMy Profile

  4. These certainly look different. I didn’t know about Kwanzaa – I love the seven core principals.
    Suzanne Perazzini recently posted … Chocolate Vanilla Tart – grain, dairy and refined sugar-freeMy Profile

  5. I just love benne cookies! They are a southern delight and I have an old tin of my Nana’s that advertises them so these Kawanzaa cookies will be wonderful!
    Kalamity Kelli recently posted … Warm Comforting Chicken Noodle SoupMy Profile

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