have a wonderful summer + black sesame shortbread

by Chen

Next post will be after at least eight weeks.

Yes, I am going to take eight weeks off and spend this summer in China. Packing up and baking are what I usually do on the day before going back. This year I am back with some crumbly and sandy cookies inspired by a family favorite–traditional Chinese walnut cookies (last year, chocolate walnut biscotti). They are not too sweet while strongly scented by the black sesame seeds. Plus, these cookies are uniform in shape and sturdy enough to travel overseas.

black sesame shortbread
Makes 4 dozens

1 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 cup ground black sesame

Sift flour and ground black sesame together and set aside.

In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg to the butter mixture. Beat until well combined. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix well.

Turn the dough to a lightly floured surface and shape it into two 12-inch logs. Wrap tightly in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.

When the dough is firm, preheat the oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or foil. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange the slices on the baking sheets and pop them in the freezer for 5 minutes.

Bake the cookies in the preheated oven until the edges are lightly browned, about 18 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets half way through. Cool completely on a rack before serving.