Lottie + Doof + The Kitchn


I’m excited to have a guest post over at The Kitchn. They are very graciously inviting established bloggers to contribute to their site. The Kitchn has already been very supportive of Lottie + Doof and so I was happy to participate. I am also excited to see the cool guests they find and hopefully discover some new blogs. I decided to share my favorite recipe for Benne Wafers. Click HERE for the post and recipe, or continue reading for the full post…


This Northern cook is obsessed with Southern food. Fried green tomatoes, grits, pimento cheese, vinegar pie, buttermilk biscuits and hummingbird cake, I like it all. Southern food, like all traditional foodways, is inherently seasonal and local—the result of home cooks working with what was available to them, with a real connection to the land. The cuisine also benefits from a myriad of cultural influences all intersecting in the kitchens of the South.

Benne seeds (sesame seeds to the rest of us) were introduced to North America sometime in the 17th or 18th century. The seeds made the voyage across the Atlantic with slaves coming from Africa and the annual plants easily adapted to the sweltry Southern climate. Benne seeds were quickly incorporated in the cuisine of the South and nowhere are they more delicious than in the traditional benne wafer.

Benne wafers are a classic cookie with origins in the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry. These delicate little disks are subtly sweet with rich flavors of caramel and toasted nuts. Perfect any time of day, I love them with a dish of buttermilk ice cream or a glass of cold milk.

This recipe for benne wafers is my favorite and couldn’t be simpler. Be careful when toasting sesame seeds as they can quickly burn. I prefer to toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat. Keep them moving constantly and watch for them to turn a light golden brown––they’ll also release some of their oil and smell wonderful. Like all nuts and seeds, sesame seeds can go rancid quickly so keep yours in the fridge and taste them before using to make sure they’re still good.

Be warned: these cookies are addictive. They won’t be around for long. Share them with friends and enjoy a little piece of Lowcountry history.

Benne Wafers (adpated from a recipe by Jean Anderson)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly spray two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Beat the butter, sugars, and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light, about 2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add the egg and beat until just incorporated. Add the flour and salt, mixing to combine. Fold in the sesame seeds.
Drop the dough from rounded 1/2 teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. The cookies will spread when baking.

Bake on the middle oven shelf for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.

Let the cookies sit on the baking sheets for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes about 7 dozen cookies.


13 comments to “Lottie + Doof + The Kitchn”

  1. Read about these cookies while researching West African recipes. We had no idea they’re popular in SC and GA. So interesting to find out!

  2. YAY! you deserve it buddy! big time.

  3. Yum. They look gorgeous. So crisp. And sesame is an interesting ingredient. Will definitly try them. Thanks for sharing and have fun writing for The Kitchn. Congratulations.

  4. these look so divine! love the use of sesame!!!

  5. I love reading your posts…thank you so much for sharing not just the recipe but for sharing the history that goes with them. This is my favorite blog! Your enthusiasm and passion for cooking and life shines through in this site. Thank you for inspiring me and my family to try new things and enjoy quality family time in the kitchen!

  6. Congrats on the guest post! These cookies sound incredibly addicting.

  7. Thanks for all of the good wishes! You’re the best!

  8. Those look like they would be super with a little Nutella or peanut butter sandwiched between them.

  9. How lovely they are! I had no idea that southern cooking could be so simple with no fat drippings!

  10. Congratulations on becoming a guest poster on The Kitchn. That is wonderful!

  11. Yum, sesame seeds should be used more often in sweet and savory! I love those little italian cookies coated in sesame seeds. I like Laura’s suggestion above to make them into sandwich cookes (nutella!), although it might be gilding the lily:)

  12. These were delicious! Simple ingredients and technique, but a wonderful depth of flavor. You’re right, though, they are ridiculously addictive.

  13. So glad you liked them, Laura!

What do you think?