Gourmandistan

The somewhat delayed satisfaction of sesame sticks

Sesame sticks and miso caramel ice creamPerhaps it was the miso caramel ice cream we’re still working on. (Trust us, Whole Foods’ so-called “mellow” miso is not white and is way too salty.) But, for some reason, these nutty, buttery sticks did not appeal to Michelle at first. While she initially found them kind of “meh,” Michelle grew impressed by the sesame sticks’ staying power along with their flavor.

Alice Medrich, who once again led us to something delicious, calls these cookies “addictively crunchy yet delicate” and “irresistible to sesame lovers.” They’re almost more like short crackers than cookies. We changed little in Medrich’s interesting recipe, other than to add black sesame seeds and a bit of extra water.

Sesame sticks and miso caramel ice creamWhile this batch won’t last much longer (Steve, possibly unsurprisingly, has had little trouble enjoying both ice cream and cookies for the last couple of days), we plan another round with our next attempt at miso caramel ice cream—hopefully with less salt and some added chocolate sauce.

SESAME STICKS

  • Servings: about 40 cookies
  • Print

(adapted from Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies)

  • 1/3 c. sesame seeds (we used half black and half white)
  • 1/3 c. blanched almonds
  • 1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 TB cold butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract + 3 TB cold water, mixed together

Preheat oven to 350° F with a rack in the middle. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Line a 5 x 9″ loaf pan with aluminum foil.

Very lightly toast sesame seeds in a small skillet (really doing little more than warming them and being careful not to burn). Set aside.

Grind almonds in a food processor. Add flour, sugar, sesame seeds and salt and pulse until mixed.

Add butter and pulse until mixture looks like coarse crumbs (much like pie dough). Drizzle in water and vanilla. Pulse until liquid is incorporated but the mixture is still in crumbs which hold together only when pressed with your fingers.

Place the mixture in the prepared loaf pan. Press down very firmly with your hands until the mixture is in a thin layer, about 1/2″ thick. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Hold the foil and remove the cookie mixture to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough crosswise into very thin (1/4″ or less) pieces. Use the knife to transfer the pieces to the cookie sheets (they are fragile), placing slices 1″ apart.

Bake for 10-11 minutes, rotating halfway through. Carefully remove the cookies with a thin spatula to a cooling rack.

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