These crisp, buttery little cookies are a variation on jeera biscuits: cumin-studded shortbread cookies popular in India and Pakistan. In place of jeera -cumin seeds- I used a combination of black and white sesame seeds. The difference between the two? Black seeds contain a nutrient-rich outer hull, and pale seeds generally (though not always) have had the hull removed. Without the outer hull, white sesame has a subtler flavor, but adds a nice visual contrast. Enjoy these plain, dunked in tea, or sandwiched with a thin layer of chocolate ganache or ice cream.
Black Sesame Shortbread Cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus an additional 2 tablespoons if needed
½ cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted if desired
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, toasted if desired
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Cream together butter, sugar, and sesame seeds until fluffy and light. Add salt, and then mix in flour until just combined. If dough is too sticky, add one to two more tablespoons of flour.
3. Dust work surface lightly with four and shape dough into a flat disc. Refrigerate, if needed. When firm enough, roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Shape using a 2-inch round cookie cutter.
3. Place the cookies on prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 325 degrees F, and bake another 4-5 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack, and let cool before serving. Store in an airtight container.