The old fashioned Sicilian Sesame seed cookies or Biscotti ai semi di sesamo. This is a delicious Christmas cookies from Sicily.
SERVING: 48 cookies
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons milk or half and half
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2- 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fiori di sicilia, from King Arthur Flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2- 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon table salt
- 1- 1/4 cups butter, softened, 20 tablespoons, cut into about 15 pieces
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds, NOT TOASTED
- 1/4 cup vanilla sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line 4 rimmed half sheet pans with parchment paper. In a microwave save bowl, whisk together the sugar and water.
Microwave for 1 minute or until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool slightly.
MAKE THE DOUGH:
In a large mixing bowl, add the light brown sugar, egg and yolk, milk, vanilla extract and fiori di Sicilia.
Whisk by hand until frothy. Set aside.
With a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on low speed, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.
On medium low speed gradually add the butter pieces; mix until the mixture resembles coarse meal; 3-5 minutes.
Add the egg mixture and mix on medium speed just until the dough just comes together; about 1 minute. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a few tablespoons of flour.
The dough should not stick to your fingers when pinched. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead into a ball.
This dough is best not refrigerated but formed and baked immediately. A cool room and surface makes these cookies easier to form.
FORM THE COOKIES:
With floured hands break off a handful of dough and roll into a 3/4″ rope.
Cut the rope into 4″ lengths. Dip one side of the rope first in the sugar syrup and then in the sesame seed/vanilla sugar.
Place the rope on the cookie sheet and push into a crescent. Place 12 to each cookie sheet.
Bake 15-18 minutes or until completely golden brown.
Reuse the parchment lined cookie sheets to repeat.
Let cool on the cookie sheet for 15 minutes and then store in a covered cookie jar.
This cookie keeps nicely for a week or two.
I like to store 8 to a twist tied cellophane bag and then in a cookie jar to keep them the freshest.
Tie with a festive ribbon and give to your friends and family as gifts from your kitchen.
Source: Adapted from https://food52.com/recipes/39122-italian-sesame-seed-cookies-angeletti-guiguileni