Sesame Seed Cookies

"Easy traditional drop cookie recipe"

sesame seed cookies

Sesame Seed Cookies are one of those traditional Italian cookie recipes . I also have them listed in my drop cookie recipes section, because sometimes you want to make a cookie that doesn't take a lot of fancy pants preparation. You know, plop, drop, bake, and walk away. Ok not really walk away, there's that ding dang clean up thing.

We had these sitting around alot when I was growing up. I saw them so much, I never touched them. They were too normal to me. But mostly I avoided them because they reminded me of old people. (Like the grandpa on Prizzi's Honor.)

It's still one of those very traditional Italian cookie recipes . I didn't disrespect it at all. I just tweaked it to get the texture I wanted. I just wanted to get it more soft and buttery. And *poof* - it's there.

Now I really like these! Call me a fan of myself.

The sesame seed cookies do have a slight zap from the anise flavoring, but that's part of the tradition. These will flake inside almost like a shortbread. Now if you hate anise - no one says you HAVE to use it! See the substitutions section below the recipe for some other ideas.

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Sesame Seed Cookies

YIELD: Makes 3 - 4 dozen


* 1/2 cup butter

* 1/4 cup white sugar

* 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

* 2 eggs

* 1 teaspoon anise extract

* 2 cups all-purpose flour

* 1 teaspoons baking powder

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 1/4 cup milk

* 1/3 cup scant sesame seeds


1. Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, blend well.

2. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add gradually to the creamed mixture, blending well.

3. Break off a small piece of dough and delicately mold into a smooth ball in your hand.

4. Dip the top of the ball in milk and dip in sesame seeds.

5. Place on the greased cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for or until golden. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Can I substitute anything for the butter?

Nope! Were you really wanting to use shortening? I've never tried it. Very few Italian dessert recipes use shortening. I have a few listed here and there that do. But not many.

Can I leave out the anise?

Yep! Anise has a very unique flavor. I'm NOT a big fan of anise. *Gasp*! How UN Italian of me. But, you will still be making an Italian cookie by substituting any of these:

  • almond extract
  • vanilla extract
  • lemon zest
  • orange zest

  • Can I toast the sesame seeds?

    I don't see why not! Good idea! Just take into consideration the time the seeds will be on the cookie while baking. Toasting always brings out the natural oils in a spice or nut. I think I will toast mine next time I make a batch of sesame seed cookies!

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