My mother passed away recently and while going through her recipes I came across this recipe for Sesame Seed Cookies. These were one of her favorite cookies, and when she made them she would always enjoy a few while she was sipping a cup of coffee or tea. This recipe may have been my grandmother’s recipe, but I do not know for sure. I never really paid attention to these cookies because to be honest, they weren’t my favorite so I can’t say if they taste like they did when she made them. They still aren’t my favorite cookie, but I liked the batch I made and my daughter really liked them.
I can remember fondly how at least once a year she would buy a bag of sesame seeds at Polcari’s Coffee on Salem Street in the North End of Boston. I haven’t been in that store in years but I can still remember being mesmerized by all of the big bins filled with seeds and nuts. I’ll have to stop in there some day to see if the store is as I remember. While I don’t have a fresh bag of sesame seeds currently in my home, or never have, I just used the ones I purchased at the super market. Maybe I’ll have to start following her tradition and buy my sesame seeds in the North End from now on.
This index card is the recipe I found and apparently I must have had a type writer at some point when I was a child and transferred some of her hand written recipes on to cards for her. The funny thing is there is no mention of sesame seeds in the recipe. Or how long to bake them for. They could be missing another ingredient as well for all I know as I obviously missed a few steps 😅. I am also confused by why her Ricotta Pie recipe that I typed out has no mention of ricotta. Thank goodness transcribing was not the path I chose in life.
The ingredients are wonderfully typed above as seen, except for the sesame seeds and I think I used about a cup of seeds. Now let’s break down the instructions a little bit better.
In a small mixing bowl combine the flour and baking powder, set aside.
In a large bowl mix together the oil, eggs, and sugar. Add the vanilla and salt and mix well.
Add in the dry ingredients and combine well.
Put the sesame seeds on a small plate and put some milk in a small bowl.
I assumed “dip fingers in milk” meant to do so before grabbing some of the dough and rolling it in your hands. Once the dough is in the shape of a ball roll it in the sesame seeds.
I remember my mother’s cookies being more of an oval shape so I shaped them after I placed them on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Since there was no mention of time on the recipe I tried a few different times. My first batch was about 10-11 minutes and they were just slightly brown on the bottom. Then I tried 13 minutes and the bottoms tasted over done, so I settled on right in the middle at 12 minutes.
I like cookies soft and while these are most likely supposed to be a hard biscotti type cookie, I don’t prefer them that way.
If you prefer an all around darker cookie you may want to try a higher temperature and see how they turn out.
I hope you enjoy my mom’s favorite cookie as much as she did 😊