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 Benne Cakes

Benne (the Bantu-word for sesame) was brought to the southern United States by African slaves and was planted extensively throughout the South. Sesame seeds are traditionally eaten for good luck and benne cakes are still very popular in the South, especially in the low country of the Carolinas. The thin, delicate wafers are a tradition at nearly every Kwanzaa celebration.

Other foods that originated in Africa include peanuts, coffee, okra, black-eyed peas, kola nut, watermelon and collard greens.


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup finely packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
.

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly oil a cookie sheet.

Mix together the brown sugar and butter, and beat until they are creamy. Stir in the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and sesame seeds.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto the cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 mintues or until the edges are browned.

Recipe by HarperCollins

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