Sesame-Sea Salt Cookies
Black and white sesame seeds form a great-looking op-art mosaic on this cookie, no matter how you scatter them. But the cookie’s true raison d’être is the taste, texture, and cocktail compatibility. The taste is slightly sweet, definitely salty, and just a touch rich because of the seeds; the texture is shortbready, with a little extra crumble because of the almond flour and a little extra crunch because of the sesame seeds. The cookies’ compatibility is almost limitless: Try them with any white wine or champagne or pair them with vermouth or sherry and then bring them out again with the cheese course.
- 1 cup (136 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (75 grams) almond flour
- 1/3 cup (67 grams) sugar
- 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces; 113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- About 1/4 cup (40 grams) mixed black and white sesame seeds
Put both flours, the sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to blend. Scatter over the pieces of cold butter and pulse until the mixture forms large, moist clumps and curds—it will look like the topping for a crumble.
Turn the dough out and knead it gently. Divide it in half and pat each half into a disk.
Working with one disk at a time, place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll it to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Slide the dough, still between the paper, onto a baking sheet—you can stack the slabs—and freeze for at least 1 hour.
Getting ready to bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Have a 1 1/2-inch-diameter cookie cutter at hand.
Working with one piece of dough at a time, peel away the top and bottom papers and return the dough to one piece of paper. Cut out as many cookies as you can and put them on the lined baking sheet, leaving about an inch between them. Save the scraps, then combine them with the scraps you get from the second sheet of dough, re-roll, freeze, cut and bake.
Brush a light coating of the beaten egg over each cookie and sprinkle them with sesame seeds.
Bake the cookies for 17 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes, or until they’re golden around the edges and the bottoms are light brown. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer them to a rack and cool completely.
Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure the baking sheet is cool.
The rolled-out dough can be wrapped well and frozen for up to two months; cut and bake directly from the freezer. The baked cookies can be kept in a covered container for up to one week at room temperature.
(Recipe from “Dorie’s Cookies” by Dorie Greenspan, Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016)