ell, it’s safe to say last weeks Giusto Discussion was a flop. Thanks for nothing folks….ha, I kid I kid. It was not the most thought provoking topic (yet worthy of discussion in my opinion) but we’ll try again sometime in the near future.
On a separate note, only recently did it occur to me how prevalent the humble sesame seed is in world cuisine. As a kid I used to munch on sesame cookies (much like the one’s I attempted to recreate below) at family meals. I later grew into cold sesame noodles from the nearest “China Garden”, so cold and peanut-buttery. Add in humongous sesame bagels, tahini-laced hummus, sesame-seared ahi tuna, and the crunchy sesame brittles of Sicily and it’s apparent that this tiny seed has spread from coast to coast with delicious results.
Harking back to the cookies of old Long Island, I recently tried my hand at Megs area of expertise, baking, with positive and negative results. The recipe went something like this:
4 Cups AP Flour
1 Tbs Baking Powder
1 Cup Sugar
2 Cups Sesame Seeds
1.5 Sticks Butter
4 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Start by heating me oven to 350. In a stand mixer (or with a hand blender) cream the butter, olive oil, and sugar together until very pale. Add the eggs to the mixer (on medium speed) one by one until fully incorporated. Add the Vanilla extract after the eggs and continue to mix on low while you sift the dry ingredients.
Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder and slowly add to the mixer on slow-medium speed. Add it all at once and you’ll not only clump the dough but you’ll look like Tony Montana before getting blown to pieces!
Mix until a smooth dough forms, wrap in plastic wrap, and allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes so the butter and oil can cool before handling.
After 30 minutes remove the dough from the ice box. Pour your milk into a bowl and your sesame seeds into another bowl. Pinch a golf-ball sized piece of dough off and roll in your hands until it resembles a small log. Roll each log in the milk quickly and then toss in the sesame seeds. The seeds will adhere to the milk and stick after cooking.
Place each rolled log onto a silicon mat or greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until the seeds are lightly toasted and the cookies have the same crunch as a crisp biscotti.
The flavor is simple and subtle but perfect for dipping into a hot espresso or cup of coffee. The sesame seeds are toasted and create a crunchy coating you can’t get enough of.
My only issue was the use of olive oil I believe. I love the stuff so I try to incorporate it into everything, but in this circumstance I don’t think it helped so try using 2 sticks of butter and no olive oil instead. Or f*ck it and try the olive oil, I ate the whole batch so they couldn’t have been that bad.
Happy munching homeys.
Paulie’s Spark Notes: 1. Make some cookie dough 2. Roll it in da seeds 3. Bake and eat, done-zo.