Benne Wafers

A Lowcountry classic that everyone should get to enjoy.

Benne Wafers
Photo: Joy Howard
5 ½ dozen

This Lowcountry recipe isn't familiar to many outside the region, but it's one that's well worth knowing. Made with benne (or sesame seeds), these crisp wafers have the rich caramel-y notes of lace cookies and deep toasty flavor thanks to the seeds. In a word, they're irresistible. And if all that deliciousness isn't enough to convince you to give them a try, they're also incredibly easy to prep: simply melt some butter, then add all the ingredients into a single bowl and blend. It's no wonder they're a popular choice for gift giving during the holidays! If you're aiming for perfectly round cookies, your best bet is to use a silicone baking mat so the cookies spread evenly as they bake. You can also use parchment, but it will yield less consistent results. Be sure to store the cookies in an air-tight container as soon as they've cooled so they keep their crunch.


  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted

  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar

  • 1 egg

  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


  1. Heat the oven to 325° and line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Whisk butter and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Add egg, vanilla, and salt and whisk well. Stir in the flour and sesame seeds until well blended. Let the batter sit 5 minutes to hydrate and thicken. (This will make it easier to scoop.)

  2. Scoop 1 teaspoon portions onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat the scooping and baking steps with the remaining batter.

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