Benne Wafers

We blogged about this recipe here.

Benne Wafers

  • Servings: about 60 cookies
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Benne (pronounced “Benny”) is the Bantu word for sesame, and seeds from Africa were apparently brought to the South during the slave trade.  Charleston, NC is known for these little goodies.

A diligent cook would probably toast his or her own sesame seeds but I’m lazy and buy mine already toasted; and I’m careful to use them up before they get rancid.


  • 1 c dark brown sugar
  • 4 T (1/2 cube) butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 c toasted sesame seeds

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 1 or 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Cream the brown sugar and butter in a food processor or with an electric mixer.  Add the egg and mix it in well.  In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt, soda and baking powder together with a fork or small whisk.  Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and blend until all is incorporated – but don’t beat it.  Stir in the sesame seeds.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the lined cookie sheets.  NOTE:  a slightly rounded teaspoon (measuring teaspoon, not tea teaspoon) will turn into a very flat crispy/chewy 2 1/2″ baked cookie – which is what you want.  Don’t go bigger!  NOTE #2: my experience says that parchment is better than a Silpat to use.  Mine on the Silpat stuck (but the Silpat was upside down.  Maybe that made a difference :).

Bake until cookies are slightly browned on the edges – about 8-9 minutes.  Let cool for a few minutes before removing from the baking sheet – and onto a cooling rack, if you want.  Keep in an airtight container or freeze.  A little crispness will be lost – but they’re chewy and delicious anytime.

Recipe brought to you by Big Little Meals and Andy and Ann

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