"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!
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- 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.
- They may burn easily, so watch closely to prevent this from happening.
- 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.
- Drop cookie dough by half-teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Make sure that at least 2 inches separate them; they spread A LOT.
- 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.
- Let them sit for 2-3 minutes.
- They should be pretty flat.
- Remove them to a wire rack and allow to cool (be careful--they're pretty crispy and crunchy!).
- Store cooled cookies in an air-tight container.