Benne Wafers

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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 slaves 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.
  • 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.

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