Savory Benne Wafers

Southern Living
Savory Benne WafersRecipe
Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Sarah Cave
The Lees turned the sweet benne wafer, a Lowcountry staple, into a crisp, one-bite cocktail snack. Benne, aka sesame seeds, can be found in bulk at health food stores.
Makes about 6 dozen


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1/4 cup plus 2 tsp. benne (sesame) seeds
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice-cold water
Parchment paper


Hands-on: 30 Minutes
Total: 2 Hours, 35 Minutes

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Cook sesame seeds in a heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring often, 6 to 7 minutes or until browned and fragrant. (Seeds will be the color of pecans.) Transfer to a plate. Cool completely (about 20 minutes).

2. Process flour, next 2 ingredients, and 1 Tbsp. seeds in a food processor 30 seconds or until seeds are finely ground. (Seeds should be the same consistency as flour.) Add butter, and pulse 5 or 6 times or until mixture resembles small peas and is crumbly. Add half of ice-cold water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, and pulse 2 or 3 times or just until combined. Add 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds and remaining water; process 10 to 15 seconds or until dough forms a ball and pulls away from sides of bowl.

3. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Shape into a 1 1/2-inch-thick flat disk; cut into 4 wedges.

4. Dust top of 1 dough wedge with flour; roll dough to 1/16-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with 2 tsp. sesame seeds; roll gently to press seeds into dough. Cut dough with a 2-inch round cutter. Place wafers 1/2 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Repeat procedure with remaining dough wedges and sesame seeds.

5. Bake at 325° for 23 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on baking sheets on wire racks (about 20 minutes). Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Created date

February 2013