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Benne' Cookies

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“I found this receipt written on an old sheet of stationary with a letterhead containing an address on Meeting Street in Charleston, SC. It was written with a fountain pen in a very lovely script and signed with the initials RMC. This is a classic, traditional receipt from Charleston. Benne' seeds are the same thing as sesame seeds. Charlestonians call recipes receipts. I have copied this recipe as it was written. I wish you could see this lovely, handwritten receipt.”
40 Cookies

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Wash sesame seeds in a fine sieve, then parch in the oven, stirring occasionally, until seeds are thoroughly dry. This takes between 7 and 10 minutes.
  2. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg, then add flour (which has been sifted twice) and put the parched seeds in last, mixing well in the batter.(This mixture should be thin enough to drop easily from a spoon. If not, add a tiny amount of water, mixing in well.)
  3. Grease pans thoroughly then drop a teaspoonful of batter for each cookie as this will spread in the baking, leave about three inches between each spoonful. Cook in moderate oven from five to eight minutes-until cookies are a light brown. (Watch carefully while cooking, to prevent too rapid browning. This amount of batter should make about forty cookies.

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