Happy National Chocolate Candy Day!
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)
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.
I hope this means that I’m going to have good luck in the new year now :-)
- 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
- Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda).
- In stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light & fluffy.
- Add egg and vanilla to creamed mixture.
- Slowly add flour mixture.
- Stir in sesame seeds by hand.
- Place cookie dough in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Drop cookies by tablespoon onto prepared sheet pan (greased or parchment paper).
- Bake for 8 minutes.
- Place cookie dough in refrigerator between batches.
Recipe adapted from About.com (http://baking.about.com/od/cookies/r/bennewafers.htm)