Description: Food Network Kitchen's Benne Wafers. Keywords: White Sesame Seeds, Light Brown Sugar, Egg, Vanilla Extract, Flour, Baking Powder
Recipe courtesy of Nikki Scott for Food Network Kitchen

Benne Wafers

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: about 48 cookies
These simple and delightful cookies are native to the South Carolina Lowcountry and the Gullah islands off the coast. They are so easy to make, and after just one bite of the salty, sweet, and crispy wafers, you’ll question where they’ve been all your life!



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. To toast the sesame seeds, spread them in a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool and leave the oven on.  
  3. Meanwhile, place the brown sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and beat on low speed until thoroughly combined. The dough will be wet and sticky. Fold in the toasted sesame seeds with a rubber spatula. 
  4. Using a teaspoon, scoop and drop balls of the dough onto the baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. (They will spread a lot.) You should end up with about 24 balls per sheet. Bake until the edges of the wafers are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

Cook’s Note

You can sometimes find toasted sesame seeds at the grocery store. If you choose to use them, skip the toasting step in the recipe and fold them into the dough as is.