If you like a cookie that’s not too sweet and can be enjoyed equally well with a cup of coffee in the morning as a glass of wine at night, then you’ll love these cookies.

They remind me of the crunchy cookies my grandmother used to make. Hers didn’t have sesame seeds and were more like a slightly sweet biscuit than a cookie. I used to have them with coffee for breakfast — we called them sinkers or dunkers.  Sometimes they were plain, sometimes iced, sometimes flavored, sometimes not, but they were always crunchy and delicious — and I loved them.

Years ago my cousin and I set out to make a sesame version and my Aunt did her best to come up with their recipe. The problem was that it made SO many it was almost torturous to get through. I finally found this recipe which yields exactly the biscuit I was looking for and makes only a few dozen.

Italian Sesame Biscuits

– 2 heaping cups of flour (to me that means 2 1/4 cups)
– 2/3 cup crisco shortening
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 2 egg seperated( keep separate)
– 1/4 cup milk or half and half
– 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
– 1/4 teaspoons salt
– 1 teaspoon vanilla, almond, lemon, anise or orange extract
– 1 1/2 cups of toasted sesame seeds .

Oven to 375.

Mix all in a bowl except the egg whites and seeds. Keep those those in separate bowls to use after you have made the dough.

Once the dough is made, roll walnut size balls into a log (I made oval shapes) and dip in egg whites then sesames, put on greased cookie sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or till golden brown – the darker the cookie the crispier it will be.

Now…after preparing a few according to these directions, I was really getting annoyed with how the egg white and seeds were gooping up on my hands. I always had to rinse them after every third cookie or so. I continued making them that way until I had 1 sheet made. For the next sheet I omitted the step of dipping into the egg white and rolled them straight into the sesame seeds. Here is how they both looked when fully baked.

sesame biscuits

The one on the left was not dunked in the egg white. It has splits in it and is more rustic looking. The one on the right was dipped in egg white and has a much smoother, perfect look. I prefer the one on the left without using the egg white, but the choice is yours.

itallian sesame cookies