These sesame cookies take less than 30 minutes to make from start to finish and do not have too many ingredients. The sesame seeds contain an amino acid called tryptophan, which helps the human body make a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which helps the human mind feel at ease. But forget science, if you like sesame seed cookies, this tastes great and is so easy to make.
You can shape them a little bit more uniformly if you like, but I kinda like the irregular rustic shapes of each cookie. I was going to call them stress free sesame seed cookies, but nothing in life is absolutely stress free. Every recipe, no matter how easy, has the potential to stress you out. One thing that could stress a person out is finding rancid sesame seeds that were stored at the bottom of a shelf, hidden from view. Luckily, these were not those sesame seeds, but that would stress me out! Anyways, the very temporary and minor stress that you might feel in having to make this is worth putting up with if you are a fan of simple, sweet, crunchy, crispy sesame seed cookies.
simple sesame cookies (inspired by the crust recipe for chef john’s lemon bars here)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, plus 1/2 cup more for dredging
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and heat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl add the flour and room temperature butter and smash together with a fork or spatula, breaking apart butter into smaller pieces until crumbly, like cookie dough.
Add the confectioners sugar, extract, salt, and the 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds and continue to smash and mix together with a fork until more flour is moistened by the extract and butter and the dough is clumping together more.
Place the 1/2 cup sesame seeds on a saucer and set aside.
Divide dough into about 8 clumps of dough on a work surface and press each cookie down into a rough circle by using the palm of your hand. Lift up each cookie with an offset spatula, one at a time and transfer to the sesame seed to dredge them completely in sesame seeds, turning them over, then transfer them spaced out to the parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake in oven for about 22 minutes until lightly browned and remove from oven to cool slightly on a wire rack.