Monday, August 15, 2011

Korean Sesame Seed Cookies

Where to begin with this recipe... These are not American. That's my disclaimer so you don't do anything like whip up a batch of cookies and complain to me that I post the worst recipes ever. If you bite into one of these with the expectation of a sweet headache-inducing flavor hit, you're going to be disappointed. Here's what you'll get with a Korean Sesame Seed Cookie: sesame seeds. Lots of them. Plus, since they're toasted, the oils have been released to permeate every bit of the dough. If that doesn't sound good to you, don't bake these cookies. Then why am I posting them? Because we live in a global world, and you may just have a wonderful Korean family move in next door one of these days. Or maybe your children need to take a Korean recipe to school. Or maybe you have a missions conference coming up at church. Or maybe you're obsessed with sesame seeds.

I baked these for my friend Sam... who happens to be from South Korea originally. He gave his seal of approval, so I now know that yes, it is indeed okay to put 3/4 cup of sesame seeds in cookie dough. Until I heard they were good, I was afraid someone was playing a sick internet joke by saying this was actually enjoyed in South Korea. That was seriously the conclusion I reached when I tried a freshly baked cookie and almost gagged. That said, I do love how food is different from culture to culture. Coca-Cola seems to be the only thing we all enjoy.

Korean Sesame Seed Cookies

1 cup real butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. hot water
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
3/4 cups toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, and beat well. Add baking soda, hot water, and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in flour and sesame seeds to make a stiff dough. Cover and chill until dough is firm.

Roll heaping teaspoonfuls into balls; place on pan, about 2" apart. Flatten slightly. Bake 10-12 minutes.


Get all of your ingredients out at the beginning to keep from forgetting anything. This also prevents the "I really thought I had three cups of flour, but this only measures 2 1/4 cups!" disaster. Been there? Me, too. Here's the list of products I'm using: Stainless Mixing Bowls, Cutting Board, Measuring Cup Set, Measuring Spoon Set, Adjustable Measuring Spoons, 2-Cup Prep Bowls, Stainless Mini Whisk, Vanilla, Medium Bar Pan, Large Serving Spatula. I heart Pampered Chef products!

So about toasting sesame seeds... Don't skip this step because toasting brings out the nutty flavor you want. Also, it releases oils that flavor the batter. Put the oven on 275 degrees, spread the seeds, and let them go until they're starting to turn golden. I don't know what to tell you on time, but I think these took about 15 minutes. They're in the Medium Bar Pan with the Large Serving Spatula.

Here's where things get a little crazy. After beating most of the ingredients, stir in the flour and then the sesame seeds. I honestly don't know how people stir cookie batter without the Mix 'n Scraper. This thing stands up to any thick batter you want to pit against it. Then it scrapes every last bit of dough off the sides of the bowl, which typically means an extra two or three cookies.

Here's the best tip I can offer for cookie dough that needs to chill: Roll it into balls before chilling. Simply use the Medium Scoop, roll your dough, and refrigerate it in a separate bowl. This sure beats hacking at cold dough when all you really want to do is bake cookies.

Ok, so now you can just take balls of dough, give them a quick roll in your hand, and place them on pan. Press them slightly with the palm of your hand, and you're good to go. Here's I'm using the Cookie Sheet and the Large Bar Pan, both of which are covered in Parchment Paper. Parchment paper is ridiculously handy when you're using the same cookie sheet for multiple batches of cookies. You can just slide it onto the cooling rack, and you can even use it more than once. Love this stuff!

See what I mean about sliding the parchment paper onto the Cooling Rack?

Ok, so I just want to leave you with this encouragement to bake cookies. Maybe not these particular ones if you aren't a sesame-seed-in-large-quantity fan, but there are others you can try... like Giant Rocky Road Cookies or Homemade Oreos.

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