Serves Makes approximately 20 bites
Sesame plants are referred to as “bennie” plants in Africa. Africans have always enjoyed the nutty flavor and great aroma of bennie seeds, since the African continent is the land of their origin, and they have many uses for the seeds as well as for sesame oil and sesame paste. Here is a very simple sweet snack, to be enjoyed at any time of day with a cup of tea.
Note that black sesame seeds are optional in this recipe, but they do create a more interesting look, so it’s worth using them if you can find some.
1½ cups sesame seeds, toasted
2 tbsp. black sesame seeds, toasted (optional)
¾ cup honey
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
¼ cup roasted and salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
To toast the sesame seeds: Place the sesame seeds in a heavy, dry skillet (cast iron is great) over medium-low heat. Stirring constantly, toast the seeds for 3 to 5 minutes, until they start to turn a darker shade and smell toasty. If you can crush a seed between thumb and forefinger, the seeds are done.
Place honey and butter in a small saucepan and heat over a medium-low flame until the mixture begins to bubble; simmer for about 3 minutes.
Stir the sesame seeds into the honey mixture and spread out onto an 8 by 8 or 7 by 9 buttered baking pan. Sprinkle the peanuts on top and lightly press into the mixture. Allow to cool.
Pinch off pieces of the mixture and roll them into balls.
Do ahead tip: This recipe can be made one day ahead of time except for rolling into balls. Do that closer to serving time as they have a tendency to soften up.
Notes and Instructions
Recipe and photo credit: Linda McElroy