Beauty Shot of Molly Yeh's Toasted Sesame Santa Hats, as seen on Girl Meets Farm, Season 11.
Recipe courtesy of Molly Yeh

Toasted Sesame Santa Hats

Getting reviews...
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr (includes chilling and freezing times)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 24 cookies
This cookie is Santa’s summer look: crispy sesame cookies topped with mountains of fluffy meringue and dipped in pink ruby chocolate. Lumps of halva are sweet little surprises hidden in the meringue—there are no lumps of coal during Christmas in July.


Cookie Dough:


Chocolate Coating:


Special equipment:
a large pastry bag fitted with a wide round tip
  1. To make the cookies: Cream together the butter, sugar, tahini and sesame oil in a medium bowl with a hand mixer until light and pale, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the egg yolks, mixing until fully combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the flour and salt. Mix just until a stiff dough forms. Turn out onto a piece of parchment paper and form a log that is 1 1/2 inches in diameter. If using the sesame seeds, pour them onto a plate and roll the log of dough in the seeds, pressing gently so they adhere. Tightly wrap the log of dough and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
  2. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Slice the dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, rotating the log as you cut the cookies to keep them as round as possible. Place the dough onto the prepared baking sheet 1 inch apart (you should be able to fit 24 rounds of dough). Bake until puffed and set; begin checking at 11 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on the pan for 2 to 3 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool.
  4. To make the meringue: In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt. Place the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water over medium heat. Allow to heat gently while whisking the mixture continuously. Continue to do this for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is frothy and warm to the touch and registers 150 to 155 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Attach the bowl to the mixer with the whisk attachment and beat until the bowl is cool and the meringue is thick and shiny and stiff peaks form, at least 10 minutes. Add the vanilla, mix to combine and then transfer the meringue to a large pastry bag fitted with a wide round tip.
  5. Arrange all of the cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet that will fit in your freezer. Onto the center of each cookie, pipe a small dollop of meringue in the center, then place a 1/2 teaspoon-size nugget of halvah on top of the meringue to “glue,” it down. Pipe meringue around the perimeter of each cookie and then continue to apply in a snowman-like blob (with a round bottom, smaller middle and a tiny top) that is 2 inches high. Freeze for at least an hour or until the meringue feels firm.
  6. To make the chocolate coating: In a medium mixing bowl, add the chocolate and coconut oil. Set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water over medium heat. Heat until the chocolate is fully melted. Remove from the heat and cool.
  7. Working quickly, remove the cookies from the freezer. Dip the meringue portion of the cookies in the chocolate coating and return to the tray to set. Decorate with spots of white dragees. Store in an airtight container in either the fridge for up to a week or the freezer for a month or longer.