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Benne Cookies Recipe – NYT Cooking

Benne Cookies Recipe - NYT Cooking

Emily Meggett, who published her first cookbook, “Gullah Geechee Home Cooking: Recipes From the Matriarch of Edisto Island,” at age 89, learned how to make these crunchy wafer cookies from her grandmother, who had been learning for generations. Benne seeds, sesame seeds that Africans enslaved and brought to the southeastern coasts of the Americas, have long been a staple of Gullah Geechee cuisine. They are a key ingredient in rice dishes and savory crackers and are the stars of these buttery waffles. Regular sesame seeds work fine, especially if you toast them in butter, but Ms. Meggett suggests buying benne seeds, an heirloom seed available online. They have a nutty, almost burnt honey flavor and bring out the umami in the cookies. —Kim Severson

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