Twenty-Five Days of Cookies: Orange Sesame & Honey Cookies

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Christmas is twenty two days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

I’m a fan of nuts but when I’m baking for friends with allergies sometimes it just isn’t possible to use them. So how do you make a special cookie with all of the richness and flavor of nuts without, well, the nuts? Use sesame seeds of course and this recipe from Cooking Light is just the answer. Sesame seeds are often thought of as belonging in savory dishes but I love them in sweets as well. When toasted they provide all of the nutiness of nut. Paired with the sweetness of honey and the brightness of orange, these cookies are the perfect addition to a holiday cookie tray.

ORANGE SESAME & HONEY COOKIES

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl.
  • Beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy then add the egg, beating again until just blended.
  • Beat in flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Turn the beaters to low and mix in 1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds, 2 table­spoons honey, and the grated orange rind into cookie dough.
  • Place 1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds in a shallow bowl.
  • Scooping the dough by tablespoonfuls, use your hands to form balls then roll the balls in the sesame seeds.
  • Arrange cookies 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
  • Bake 10 to 12 minutes then remove from the oven, allowing to cool for 3 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Combine orange juice and 1 tablespoon honey in a bowl; drizzle mixture over cooled cookies.

Yields: 4 dozen cookies

 

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