Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sesame Cookies

These cookies are really tasty and have a soft crumbly texture.

The recipe is from Nicole Routhier’s Foods of Vietnam which asked for 1 ½ cups of vegetable shortening and there was no butter. 

I have adapted the recipe and used half butter and half shortening, estimating the quantities in grams. The use of vegetable shortening gives the cookies its fluffy texture but shortening doesn’t have much flavour so I substituted half of it with butter because butter makes everything taste awesome! I also baked them for a shorter amount of time and added in a pinch of salt.

¾ cup sesame seeds, toasted
2 ¼ cup plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
175g vegetable shortening
190g butter, room temperature
Egg wash (1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon of water)

Preheat oven to 180C. Line baking trays with greaseproof paper.

To toast sesame seeds – lightly fry the sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until fragrant/golden brown ~ 3 minutes (be careful not to burn). Remove from heat and cool.

Reserve ¼ cup of the toasted sesame seeds for garnishing the cookies and coarsely grin the remaining seeds using a mortar and pestle. Don’t grind to sesame seeds to a fine powder, they should still have a grainy texture.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl – ground sesame seeds, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

In a bowl, beat the butter, vegetable shortening and sugar together until creamy and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract and beat to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, a little at a time and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. The dough will be moist and pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Dust a work surface with flour and knead the dough to form a smooth ball.
Roll tablespoons of the dough into a ball and press lightly to form a 1 ½ inch round discs. If the dough is too soft to roll into balls, chill in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to make the dough firmer and easier to work with.

Place the cookies on baking trays and freeze for 20 minutes (until firm).

Brush the cookies with egg wash and sprinkle some of the reserved sesame seeds on top.
Bake for 12 minutes until lightly browned. 

Remove and allow to cool.

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