Black Sesame Cookies

I started getting gray hair when I was 12, and now at 24 I'm about a quarter gray.  I am lucky to have a mother who's a hairstylist that dyes my hair to hide my secrets, she is worried I will go completely gray before her.  The time a person develops gray hair is dependent on your genes, but my mother is convinced it's because I have a deficiency in my body.  So for years she made me eat black sesame seeds claiming it would restore pigment into my hair.  Going back home this time around she gave me another tub of ground sesame seeds "You don't forget to eat hei zi ma (black sesame seeds) it is good for grey hair!" I never argue with my mother, I hear they know best :)

Granted, black sesame seeds don't seem to have slowed down my gray hair production it does have a lot of healthy nutritional benefits.  They are high in many minerals like iron magnesium and calcium which help promote bone and joint strength.  In Chinese medicine, black sesame is used to promote health to the kidney and liver, and to treat constipation and promote regular bowel movements! T.M.I.? Perhaps...but you'll be thanking me when these cookies make you regular :)

Ingredients for Black Sesame Cookies:

  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cup black sesame seeds, ground

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a large bowl, beat shortening and sugar with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.  beat in vanilla and egg.  In another bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda.  Slowly incorporate dry mixture with wet mixture, be careful not to over beat the batter or it will change the texture of the cookie.  Dump in the ground sesame and mix until evenly dispersed throughout cookie dough.  Drop tablespoonfuls 2-inches apart onto greased cookie sheets.  Bake 8-10 minutes for chewy cookies or 11-13 for crisp cookies.  Remove from oven and cool on cooling rack.  Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Prep Time: 10 minutes   Total Cooking Time: 20-23 minutes

Who says cookies aren't good for you?  These are also a great recipe for vegans, I have recently switched to vegetable shortening instead of butter because it contains less saturated fat than butter does.  It also increases the shelf life for cookies and it does not need to be refrigerated.  In the past, vegetable shortening has gotten criticism for containing trans fat but there are a lot of products out there that do not contain trans fat like Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening Sticks.  I also felt it gave my cookie a much lighter and crumb-ly texture than usual -- I like it!