In The Spotlight
Traditional Kwanzaa Benne Cookies
Benne cookies are cookies that are typically served at the Kwanzaa celebration. Benne is an African Bantu word for sesame seeds. The Bantu people believe that sesame seeds bring good luck. African slaves brought the seeds with them from Africa to North America in the 17th Century. The cookies are flat with a nutty and sweet taste. Ask an adult to help you in the kitchen.
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup toasted sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Line two baking pans with parchment paper (or grease the pans very well).
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl; until pale and fluffy.
Add the salt, baking soda, vanilla and egg and beat well.
Add the flour and fold in with a spoon until well mixed in.
Stir in the sesame seeds.
Using a tablespoon; drop the batter onto the baking sheets, making sure the cookies are spaced well apart.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes. They will be golden brown when they are ready. Watch carefully that they do not burn.
Remove the cookies from the oven; let them cool for just a minute on the pan – any longer and they will stick. Place them on a wire rack to continue cooling before eating.
Store the cookies in an airtight container to keep them crisp.