My Italian Cookie cravings have two sides. The first is for a light, crisp and flavorful anisette toast. The flip side is for a dense sesame cookie. Neither are too sweet and can be enjoyed for breakfast as readily as for dessert.
My first attempt at making sesame cookies was not really good. Although the pictures were quite lovely, I think I’ll spare you by not sharing the recipe. However, this batch of cookies is a closer match to what I’m looking for. When compared to an official “professional bakery” cookie, as in the below photo, you can clearly see the difference. Sadly, you could also taste the difference. It was this direct comparison that made me realize there should be the faintest hint of orange flavor in this cookie. For the next batch, I will try adjusting the flavors accordingly and will report back on the results.
Italian Sesame Cookies
Makes a lot of cookies – 2 trays
2 1/4 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 c. milk + extra for rolling cookies in
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. sesame seeds
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, silpat, or nonstick liner.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. Combine milk and vanilla.
4. Add butter to flour mixture and mix well with hands or electric mixer. I think it’s easier to mix with your hands; if the butter is a little too cold your hands help to warm it up.
5. Add milk mixture to flour mixture.
6. Mix well to form dough and turn out onto lightly floured surface. The dough will be very crumbly and requires some pressing to bring it together.
7. Break off small piece of dough to form a cookie.
8. Roll dough in between hands to shape it. I made little log shapes.
9. Drop cookie in milk and then roll in sesame seeds. The milk makes the seeds stick nicely.
10. Place on cookie sheet and flatten the top slightly with finger.
11. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes until lightly golden.
12. Cool on cooling rack.
Tip: I found it easiest to roll out all the little cookie logs first before dipping them in the milk and sesame seeds.
These cookies don’t particularly rise or spread out, so you can place them fairly close together on the cookie sheet.