South Carolina - Benne Wafers

I love South Carolina!  I lived in this amazing state for 8 years and enjoyed the upcountry mountains and the lowcountry beaches.  One of the best things about South Carolina, besides the people, is the distinct feel and cultural influences you experience in various regions of the state. 

For instance, Benne Wafers are a lowcountry specialty that date back to Colonial times and are still popular, especially in Charleston.  Benne is the Bantu word for Sesame which was brought to the US from East Africa in the 17th century.    

These simple, historic cookies are thought to bring good luck to those who eat them!  

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup toasted sesame seeds


  • cream butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking soda and egg together
  • add the flour and mix until smooth
  • stir in sesame seeds by hand
  • drop by tablespoons onto parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheets
  • bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 8 - 9 minutes or until golden brown
  • remove from oven, allow to cool for 1 minute on pan then transfer to wire rack to cool completely

These thin, crispy on the edges but chewy on the inside cookies are delicious and it's nice having a sweet sesame flavor for a change! 

I can see why these beautiful cookies have such an important place in lowcountry culture and cuisine and have lasted for centuries!  


1 comment:

  1. wish i had some of these in the cookie jar in our office kitchen!