These cookies taste much, much better than this crappy photo looks (taken with my cell phone). I've crammed a whole lotta sesame into one cookie.
The original idea for these sesame delights came from Flo Braker in her book Sweet Miniatures. Her cookies, called Sesame Chips, were good, but since I adore sesame so much I wanted to go even farther. I added the seeds to the batter in addition to putting them on top, added toasted sesame oil for an extra burst of flavor, and also cut back on the molasses which can overpower the more delicate flavor of the seeds.
The sesame seeds in the dough contributed to a great nutty flavor but surprisingly also gave the cookies great chew. Many people asked me if I used oatmeal in these cookies because of the texture. (Hmmm, something to think about for the next iteration).
I also used a combination of black and white sesame seeds for decoration, which gives them greater visual impact. Surprisingly, many of my coworkers had never seen black sesame seeds before, prompting a lot of inquiries. Some people thought they were flax seeds, which gives me yet another cookie idea.
If you like sesame, you will like these cookies.
Sesame Spice Cookies
Makes about 36 (2.5-inch) cookies
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons barley malt syrup or corn syrup
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (3.5 ounces) white sesame seeds
white and black sesame seeds for decoration (a couple of tablespoons)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg, molasses, syrup and sesame oil and mix until well blended.
Add baking soda and spices, mix well. Add flour and mix until incorporated. Stir in white sesame seeds until evenly distributed.
Using cookie scoop or spoon, make tablespoon-sized balls of cookie dough. Dip tops of dough balls into black and white sesame seeds and place cookies, seed side up, at least 2 inches apart on baking sheet (these cookies spread quite a bit).
Bake for 15 minutes, checking after 10 minutes. Because the dough itself is brown, it's hard to tell when these are done. I use the following visual clues: the cookies have spread out, they have cracks across the top, and the cracks are beginning to dull (at first they will be very shiny). The outer edges may also get a little more brown but that is harder to see. I bake one sheet at a time; if you bake two sheets together, rotate pans top to bottom halfway through.
Cool baking pan on cooling rack for about 15 minutes, then remove cookies to rack. Store in airtight container; cookies will keep for several days.