Toasted Sesame Cookies / by Anthony Michael Contrino

Photo by Andrea Patton

Photo by Andrea Patton

Toasted Sesame Cookies

Makes 3 ½ dozen cookies

Growing up there were always these sesame-coated cookies on the table when company came over.  We called them Regina cookies.  They looked so boring; I never even thought to take one.  Now that I’m older, I look for them.  They are one of those cookies that are great anytime of day - in the morning with coffee or tea, as a lunchtime snack or an after dinner dessert.  I like to make them the day before I eat them, allowing them to harden overnight.  


⅔ cup sesame seeds

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces butter, very soft

½ cup sugar

1 egg

⅛ teaspoon almond extract

¼ cup scalded milk, cooled


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small skillet, toast the sesame seeds on high heat until they begin to color.  They will not toast evenly; some will be light and some will be dark.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl.  Allow to cool completely.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt and stir to combine.  

In a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and almond extract and mix well.  The batter may be grainy; that’s fine.  With the mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture.  When it is almost fully incorporated, add the milk.  Combine.  Add the remaining flour and mix to combine.  Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to an hour.

Use a small cookie scoop to create mounds of the dough.  Roll into balls and then drop them into the toasted sesame seeds, rolling them around until they are fully coated.  Flatten the round ever-so-slightly.  

Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake for about 15 minutes, or just until the cookies start to crack on top.