RECIPE

Sesame Cookies

These cookies are an adaptation of Cake Boss’s sesame cookie recipe. I love his trick of soaking the sesame seeds before rolling the dough in them. It keeps them from burning in the oven and also helps them stick to the dough.

Ingredients

  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 cups sesame seeds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable shortening
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 cups unbleached pastry flour (from King Arthur)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Preparation

Preheat the oven to its lowest setting. Spread the lemon zest on a baking sheet and dry out until flaky, about 30 minutes. Let cool. Leave the oven on, but increase the temperature to 350°F. Lightly grease a couple of baking sheets.

Place the sesame seeds in a bowl and cover with some water. Let soak for about 5 minutes, then drain in a strainer and spread out on a plate.

In a bowl, with an electric mixer cream together the sugar and shortening. Beat in the vanilla. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the milk and lemon zest. Then beat in the flours. Sprinkle in the baking powder and beat it in.

Turn the dough out onto a pastry board (or marble slab, if you have one). Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll each piece into a rope 1 inch in diameter. Cut each rope into 2-inch pieces. In batches, dredge the pieces of dough in the sesame seeds. Then working with one piece at a time, roll each cookie between your hands into a 2-inch log slightly pointed at the ends.

Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake until deeply golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool.

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