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Low Country Lace
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The Grass Roots Cookbook
© Jean Anderson,
Out of Print, Used & Rare
" Benne, the Low Country people believe, brings good luck - to those who
the plant in their gardens and eat the seeds. Benne Cookies are one of the specialties for which Charleston
cooks are famous. Here is
Mary's [Sheppard of Dorchester County, SC] favorite recipe, one she
worked out by trial and error.
best results, do not attempt the recipe in rainy or humid weather, because
the cookies will not be crisp."
Makes about 6 1/2 dozen
cup sesame (benne) seeds
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
cup firmly packed light brown sugar
cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Spread sesame seeds out in a pie pan and toast in a very slow
(275 degrees F.) until a pale amber color - about 10 minutes. Remove
from oven and cool.
2. [Increase oven temperature to 350
degrees F.] Cream butter until light
and fluffy, add sugar and again cream
until light. Beat in egg;
stir in flour, sesame seeds, salt and vanilla.
3. Drop the dough in slightly rounded 1/2-teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets, spacing cookies
2 1/2 to 3 inches apart. Do not
attempt to get more than a dozen cookies on each large baking sheet - they
as they bake.
4. Bake about 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees F. or until cookies are a
rich caramel color. Remove
from oven, let cookies cool on baking sheets about
1 minute, then loosen
carefully with a pancake turner. If
the cookies are too hot, they will crinkle up as you try to loosen them
from the baking sheet; if they are too cool, they will shatter. The 1-minute cooling period seems
about right. Spread cookies out one layer deep on heavy brown paper and
cool thoroughly before eating. Store
in airtight containers.
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