Monday, March 4, 2013

Recipe: Benne Wafers

I love Benne wafers. They have a slightly sweet taste and crisp texture. Just a few can satisfy my sweet tooth. Sesame is also high in protein, contains no cholesterol and is rich in calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins B and E. Of course, when you toss it into a cookie, it has to fend for itself. 

Benne (the Bantu word for sesame) was brought to America from East Africa in the 17th century during the slave trade era. 

Here are two recipes I found the 

BENNE WAFERS RECIPE (1954 Gourmet magazine)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup sesame (benne) seeds (toasted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
PREPARATION:
Lightly toast the sesame (benne) seeds in a nonstick pan until golden brown. Watch carefully so the seeds won't burn.

Cream butter and sugar together and mix with other ingredients in the order given. Use a 1/2 teaspoon to measure the dough and drop onto a cookie pan covered with parchment paper*, about 1 1/2 inches part, far enough apart to allow spreading while baking.

Tip: While baking, use a cold spatula to flatten any cookies that start to "puff."

Bake in a 350º F oven for 4-6 minutes. Let cool.  Store in air-tight container 
The cookies should be crisp, brown and flat.
Yield: 6 dozen

*You can just grease the cookie sheet but I find the tiny cookies tend to stick so its easier to peel them of the parchment paper once cooled.


Benne Wafers (DiscoverSouthCarolina.com) 
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • eggs
  • 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
     
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric beater. Add remaining ingredients; mix well then use a teaspoon to drop small amounts of batter  onto greased baking sheets. The dough will spread.
     
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. The cookies are usually the size of a quarter upon completion. 
Makes about 4-7 dozen wafers, depending on the size


I
 © Diane Chase, author of Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks (Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities) for the towns of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Jay/Upper Jay, Wilmington, Keene/Keene Valley which is available online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the second guidebook in the four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities.

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