Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

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StarryNightDave
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Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by StarryNightDave » Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:18 pm

I'm reading Pat Conroy's latest Novel, "South of Broad." And, as a welcome gift the main character bakes a batch of these Benne Wafers for the new neighbors. Has anyone ever had these? Benne seeds are what they call sesame seeds down South. They sure sound pretty good. Now I'll have to go buy some sesame seeds.

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Benne wafers recipe, also known as sesame seed cookies.

Ingredients:

* 1 cup sesame seeds
* 3/4 cup butter, melted
* 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preparation:
Place the sesame seeds on an ungreased baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, watching closely, until lightly browned. In a large mixing bowl mix the brown sugar, melted butter or margarine, egg, vanilla extract, flour, salt, baking powder and toasted sesame seeds together until blended. Drop dough by half-teaspoonfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between cookies. Bake benne wafers in preheated 375° oven for 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cookies cool for about 2 minutes on baking sheets; remove from baking sheets to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cooled sesame seed cookies in an airtight container.
Makes about 72 Cookies

Of course, Martha Stewart has her own version of these cookies. And, the recipe is quite different requiring you to roll out a dough instead of dropping spoon-fulls as the recipe above.

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I wonder which one I should try? :dunno:

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Re: Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by ConsrvYank1 » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:27 pm

I don't really care about the recipe, but how did Pat Conroy write a book, and I knew nothing about it. :shock: I will go buy it tomorrow. What is it about?

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Re: Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by ConsrvYank1 » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:29 pm

ConsrvYank1 wrote:I don't really care about the recipe, but how did Pat Conroy write a book, and I knew nothing about it. :shock: I will go buy it tomorrow. What is it about?
Edited to add, don't bother, I just googled it.

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Re: Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by Pixie » Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:28 pm

Wow, I've never heard of Benne Wafers but they look good and the recipe seems simple!

I've never read anything by Pat Conroy but after ConservYank1's post and your post I think I may have to try something by him.

I would try the drop recipe first and then if I liked it I'd try the roll out recipe... less work is less work! :lolh: :embarrassed: :lolh:

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Re: Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by Margie » Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:41 pm

Yes!!! My folks lived in Spartanburg, SC and Benne wafers were a staple among their crowd when having guests over for drinks 'fore dinner. I have had them many times.

Hi Pixie! :wave:

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Re: Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by Pixie » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:29 am

:wave: Margie!

I'm soooo happy to see you!

Margie, which of the two recipes did you like?

:givehug:

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Re: Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by Margie » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:17 am

Pixie wrote::wave: Margie!

I'm soooo happy to see you!

Margie, which of the two recipes did you like?

:givehug:
:givehug:

The recipe above sounds really tasty to me because it calls for brown sugar. (I ignore Martha Stewart as a rule. :lolh: )
The Benne Seed biscuits/wafers I have had were not sweet.

Here is an authentic recipe from my Southern Junior League Cookbook...it is the very first recipe in the first section of the book.

Benne Seed "Cocktailers"
This is the original benne seed biscuit which the New York Times has called "a cocktail biscuit that should revolutionize cocktail parties."

2 cups unsifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne
3/4 cup shortening or margarine
Ice water
1 cup roasted sesame seeds
Additional salt

Mix flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and cayenne; cut in shortening; add enough ice water (about 1/4 cup) to make a dough the consistency of pie crust; add seeds which have been roasted in a shallow pan at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Roll thin, cut into small round wafers.

Place in biscuit pan and cook in slow oven (about 300 degrees) for 20 or 30 minutes. Before removing from pan and while hot, sprinkle with additional salt.

These may be kept in a covered tin or cracker jar and, before serving, put into a slow oven to crisp.

YIELD: SEVERAL DOZEN

Charleston Receipts
THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA

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Re: Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by Pixie » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:46 pm

:lolh: I do too (ignore Martha Stewart)! :lolh:

:clap2: :clap2: :clap2:

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Re: Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by tattulip » Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:45 pm

Charleston Receipts
THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
That's the book the author got the recipe from too! :clap:

What does Martha Stewart say that you are ignoring? :headscratch:

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Re: Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by StarryNightDave » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:02 pm

tattulip wrote:
Charleston Receipts
THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
That's the book the author got the recipe from too! :clap:

What does Martha Stewart say that you are ignoring? :headscratch:
I think it's probably the usual - the unnecessary level of complexity she seems to add to ordinary recipes. If it's difficult, it must be good! :yes:

(Ever put a doughnut in the microwave?)

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Re: Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by Charybdis » Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:25 pm

I don't know. They don't look so appetizing to me.

Maybe it's because there are so many sesame seeds.

And why do Southernors have to re-name everything they cook with anyway! I can't understand what they're eating half the time!

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Re: Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by StarryNightDave » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:30 am

Charybdis wrote:I don't know. They don't look so appetizing to me.

Maybe it's because there are so many sesame seeds.

And why do Southernors have to re-name everything they cook with anyway! I can't understand what they're eating half the time!
:lol: Unfortunately, sesame seeds are the whole point of this cookie. Kind of like not wanting to eat a chocolate bar because it has so much chocolate in it.

I just bought a bunch of sesame seeds so I can make these tonight. The toasting of the sesame seeds should really bring out the flavor. I can't wait.

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Re: Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by Charybdis » Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:13 pm

StarryNightDave wrote:
Charybdis wrote:I don't know. They don't look so appetizing to me.

Maybe it's because there are so many sesame seeds.

And why do Southernors have to re-name everything they cook with anyway! I can't understand what they're eating half the time!
:lol: Unfortunately, sesame seeds are the whole point of this cookie. Kind of like not wanting to eat a chocolate bar because it has so much chocolate in it.

I just bought a bunch of sesame seeds so I can make these tonight. The toasting of the sesame seeds should really bring out the flavor. I can't wait.
Do sesame seeds mix well with a brown sugar-based sweet? I don't think I've ever tried the two together. I don't think I've even seen it.

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Re: Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by ToBeannounced » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:27 am

Margie wrote:
Pixie wrote::wave: Margie!

I'm soooo happy to see you!

Margie, which of the two recipes did you like?

:givehug:
:givehug:

The recipe above sounds really tasty to me because it calls for brown sugar. (I ignore Martha Stewart as a rule. :lolh: )
The Benne Seed biscuits/wafers I have had were not sweet.

Here is an authentic recipe from my Southern Junior League Cookbook...it is the very first recipe in the first section of the book.

Benne Seed "Cocktailers"
This is the original benne seed biscuit which the New York Times has called "a cocktail biscuit that should revolutionize cocktail parties."

2 cups unsifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne
3/4 cup shortening or margarine
Ice water
1 cup roasted sesame seeds
Additional salt

Mix flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and cayenne; cut in shortening; add enough ice water (about 1/4 cup) to make a dough the consistency of pie crust; add seeds which have been roasted in a shallow pan at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Roll thin, cut into small round wafers.

Place in biscuit pan and cook in slow oven (about 300 degrees) for 20 or 30 minutes. Before removing from pan and while hot, sprinkle with additional salt.

These may be kept in a covered tin or cracker jar and, before serving, put into a slow oven to crisp.

YIELD: SEVERAL DOZEN

Charleston Receipts
THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA

Funny you should mention brown sugar and Martha Stewart. Her daughter's recipe for chocolate chip cookies contains brown sugar. I don't think her mom approves. :lol:

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Re: Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by ConsrvYank1 » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:33 pm

ToBeannounced wrote:
Funny you should mention brown sugar and Martha Stewart. Her daughter's recipe for chocolate chip cookies contains brown sugar. I don't think her mom approves. :lol:
Doesn't the recipe onthe back of the Nestle chocolate chip package tell you to add brown sugar? :headscratch:

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Re: Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by ToBeannounced » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:48 pm

ConsrvYank1 wrote:
ToBeannounced wrote:
Funny you should mention brown sugar and Martha Stewart. Her daughter's recipe for chocolate chip cookies contains brown sugar. I don't think her mom approves. :lol:
Doesn't the recipe onthe back of the Nestle chocolate chip package tell you to add brown sugar? :headscratch:
Yes, it does.

Here is Alexis' recipe:

http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/ale ... -container

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Re: Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by StarryNightDave » Sun Aug 30, 2009 3:48 pm

OK!

I just made a couple trays of these and they are great! The first ones I made too big. You really need to drop them by 1/2 teaspoon fulls on the sheet. The first batch was almost a solid sheet. The second batch was much better and each cookie came out about 3" in diameter.

Great flavor! I toasted the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan stirring with a wooden spoon for about 9 minutes. The came out a little browner than I thought, but the flavor is wonderful. Not too sweet with a deep rich sesame flavor.

Now I'm anxious to try some of the other variations.

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Re: Benne Wafers - a Southern Cookie

Post by Pixie » Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:59 pm

Oh, they sound good! They spread a lot, that's good to know! :clap2: :clap2:

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