Easy Sesame Cookies Recipe – How To Make Italian Sesame Cookies


Sesame’s nutty flavors can pack a bitter undertone, which is why these sesame cookies use licorice-like anise and bright citrus zest to neutralize the earthiness for a more balanced flavor. Other ingredients of note are almond extract, which helps to bring out even more of the fragrance of sesame, and rye flour, which adds a bit of whole grain and subtle tartness.

The cookies are plain and simple: Make the dough, chill in the freezer briefly to make the portioning easier, then shape, coat in sesame seeds, and bake. The egg wash is sweetened with a touch of honey to add a gentle shine and sweetness. The cookies will expand just a touch during the bake, so place them about 1″ apart to avoid them melting into each other.

Perfect with a cup of masala chai, hot chocolate, or hot toddy, these not-too-sweet treats are great for a light breakfast or afternoon tea. Once baked, the cookies can be stored at room temperature in a closed container for up to 1 week, or frozen for longer storage. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before shaping and baking.

Made ’em? Drop us a comment down below and let us know how you liked it!

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1/3 c.

(70 g.) granulated sugar

1 tsp.

finely grated orange zest


large eggs, separated and divided

1/2 c.

unsalted butter, melted

1/2 tsp.

anise seeds, roughly crushed

1/2 tsp.

pure vanilla extract


(120 g.) all-purpose flour


toasted sesame seeds

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  1. In a large bowl, rub together granulated sugar and orange zest with your fingers until sugar is yellow in color. Whisk in 2 egg yolks, 1 egg white, butter, almond extract, anise seeds, and vanilla extract until smooth. Fold in flours, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until no dry spots remain and dough holds its shape. Optional: Cover and transfer to freezer to chill 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. On a work surface sprinkled with sesame seeds, divide dough into 8 portions. Roll each portion to a 1/2″-thick rope. Cut each rope into 1 1/2″-long pieces. Roll each piece to coat fully in sesame seeds.
  3. Arrange cookies on prepared sheets, spacing about 1″ separately. Bake until cookies are set and barely golden, about 10 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk honey, water, and remaining 1 egg white until combined. Brush each cookie with a light layer of egg wash and continue to bake until golden, 7 to 10 more minutes.
  5. Let cool completely before serving.
  6. Make Ahead: Cookies can be made 1 week ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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sesame cookies coated in sesame seeds


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