Rye and Sesame Shortbread Cookies

Well, what did you expect? A post-holiday detox recipe? From ME?

My December cookie marathon has come to a close, but I have one more delicious recipe to share with you all, whenever you want a break from your new-year diets. I stumbled across these cookies in (which in turn got the recipe from Tandem Coffee Roasters in Maine), and I was instantly intrigued by the combination of rye and black sesame seeds. It’s definitely more of an adult cookie than a child-pleaser, and it pairs perfectly with a cup of black coffee or strong tea. Also, time only improves the flavor and texture, so the cookies are even more delicious when eaten the day after baking.

Rye and Sesame Shortbread Cookies

Recipe from Tandem Coffee Roasters via Bon Appetit 

  • 1 cup (230 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups (240 g) rye flour
  • ¼ cup(40 g) black sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup (50 g) demerara sugar
  • ½ tsp. flaky sea salt
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Using an electric mixer on medium high-speed (or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat butter in a large bowl until smooth, about 1 minute. Add granulated sugar, orange zest, and kosher salt and beat again just to combine.

Reduce mixer speed to medium-low, add egg, and beat, scraping down sides of bowl, just until combined.

Reduce mixer speed to low and, working in 2 batches, beat in flour, scraping down bowl in between additions, until just combined and no dry spots remain (do not overmix).

Dampen a work surface with a bit of water and place a large sheet of plastic wrap on top (the water will help the plastic adhere smoothly to the counter).

Place half of dough in the center of plastic wrap, then fold plastic over to cover dough and protect your hands from getting all sticky. Using your hands, form dough into a log shape (rolling it on the counter will help), until log is about 2″ in diameter and 5″ long. Repeat with remaining dough. Chill logs until firm, about 2 hours.

Place racks on upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix sesame seeds, demerara sugar, and sea salt on a small rimmed baking sheet or plate. Unwap dough and roll in sesame seed mixture until coated.

Slice dough into ¼”-thick rounds. Arrange on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1″ apart. Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through, until golden brown and firm, 25–30 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.

Do Ahead: Cookies can be made 2 days ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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