“"Benne" means sesame seeds, and these are deliciously crispy little cookies. I made these recently for a friend-of-the-family who celebrates Kwanzaa, and he loved them. They originate in Africa, but have become a tradition in the deep south of the United States. They are also the only Kwanzaa cookie type I could find; as an added bonus (although the ingredients sound REALLY weird), they're delicious!”
36 cookies

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. If your sesame seeds are not toasted, place them on an ungreased baking sheet and toast for 10-12 minutes or until they turn light brown.
  3. They may burn easily, so watch closely to prevent this from happening.
  4. Mix the brown sugar, melted butter, egg, vanilla extract, flour, salt, baking powder, and toasted sesame seeds together until well combined in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Drop cookie dough by half-teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Make sure that at least 2 inches separate them; they spread A LOT.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 5-6 minutes or until edges become light brown. They will appear a little puffy when you take them out.
  7. Let them sit for 2-3 minutes.
  8. They should be pretty flat.
  9. Remove them to a wire rack and allow to cool (be careful--they're pretty crispy and crunchy!).
  10. Store cooled cookies in an air-tight container.

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