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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 89, learned how to make these crisp wafer cookies from her grandmother who learned from generations before. Benne seeds, sesame seeds that enslaved Africans brought with them to the southeastern shores of America, have long been a staple in Gullah Geechee cooking. They are an important component in rice dishes and savory crackers and are the stars of these buttery wafers. Regular sesame seeds will work fine, especially if you toast them in butter, but Mrs. Meggett suggests you try to buy benne seeds, an heirloom seed that is available online. They have a nutty, almost burned honey flavor and bring out the umami in the cookies. —Kim Severson

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