Desserts

Benne Wafers

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In this post I am sharing a historical recipe for Benne Wafers.
 
 
Benne Wafers have been a Lowcountry favorite in the Charleston area for over a hundred years. These tiny cookies, or wafers, are each made by hand with the same care used in the plantation kitchens of the past.
 
West African enslaved people introduced sesame seeds to America, and the Nigerian name for them, “benne”, stuck in the South Carolina Lowcountry.
 
These wafers are made for classic Charleston recipes and can also be found in many candy shops and stands downtown in the Market.
 
These small wafer cookies are crisp and delicious! 
 

Charleston Benne Wafers

 
Ingredients
 
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ½ cup sesame (benne) seeds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

Cream butter and sugar together and mix with other ingredients in the order given.

Drop with a teaspoon about 1/2 a teaspoon onto a well-greased cookie pan, far enough apart to allow spreading while baking.
 
Bake in a 325°F oven for 7 – 10 minutes.
 
These cookies will really spread out when baking so give them plenty of room. If they do happen to run together, use a small cookie cutter to cut out the cookie before it cools and hardens.

Sesame Seed Cookies

Benne Wafers

Benne Wafers

A classic Charleston recipe for benne wafer cookies brought to American by the enslaved African people. These thin crisp wafer cookies are now a lowcountry tradition.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ½ cup sesame (benne) seeds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and sugar together and mix with other ingredients in the order given.
  2. Drop with a teaspoon about 1/2 a teaspoon onto a well-greased cookie pan, far enough apart to allow spreading while baking.
  3. Bake in a 325°F oven for 7 – 10 minutes.

Notes

Toasting the sesame seeds adds additional flavor.

Give these cookies plenty of room, they spread quite a bit.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

2 cookies

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 0gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g

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