Sweet Benne Wafers

  • Serves

    makes about 100 cookies


Adapted from The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen cookbook, these tuile-like cookies are crunchy, light, and airy with a delicate nuttiness from toasted sesame seeds. They lose their crisp texture quickly, so it's best to serve them the same day they're made.


  • 12 cup sesame seeds
  • 34 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 14 cup plus 1 tbsp. flour
  • 12 tsp. kosher salt
  • 14 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 12 tsp. vanilla extract


Step 1

Heat oven to 350°. Toast sesame seeds in an 8” cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 5 minutes; transfer to a bowl and set aside. Whisk sugar, flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Add butter and using a dough blender, two forks, or your fingers, cut butter into flour mixture, forming pea-size crumbles; set aside.

Step 2

Using an electric hand mixer, whip egg in a bowl until fluffy. With the motor running, slowly add dry ingredients until smooth. Add reserved sesame seeds and the vanilla; mix into a smooth batter. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a plain ½” tip. Pipe ¼ tsp. mounds of dough onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spaced about 2” apart. Bake cookies until chestnut-brown and lacy in appearance, 4-6 minutes. Let cookies cool completely before serving.

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