Sesame Candy Recipe

Recipe for homemade sesame candy made with toasted sesame seeds, honey and sweet spices. Impressive appearance.

For years, my mom loved these verrrrry chewy sesame candies from Turkey, the Middle East and all around the Mediterranean: where she found such exotica in small towns in the northern plains, who knows? how her dental work survived, who can guess!

Fast forward 30 years to me fast-flipping through a tall stack of recipes glued onto 3x5 cards during my first years of cooking. Many recipes no longer appeal - there's that Midwestern reliance on cans of mushroom soup for every 'hot dish' and a box of Jello for every 'salad' - but a surprising number do.

The recipe for this sesame candy appealed instantly, just a few ingredients, a simple technique -- and the inner giggle that my mom would have rolled her eyes at the very idea of her daughter making homemade sesame candy.

Sorry, Mom, call me pleased with the results! The toasty-nutty sesame seeds are half dark amid the honey-sweet, subtly spiced and chewy candy. Plus, these little candies keep! and they're sturdy! This makes them good candidates for make-ahead food gifts, especially for shipping. Just make sure to pack the pieces between sheets of waxed paper.

We'd go broke, however, buying sesame seeds in the spice section of the grocery store, where small jars can be $8 or $10. In an international grocery, for anyone lucky enough to have one nearby, a big bag of sesame seeds is just a couple of dollars. I like the dramatic look of a few black sesame seeds tucked into the candy but light-colored sesame seeds are traditional and very pretty too.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences.
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SESAME CANDY CRUNCH

Homemade sesame candy, sticky, sweet, delicious
Hands-on time: 45 minutes
Time-to-table: 90 minutes
Enough for an 11x15 tray, about 80 pieces
  • 2 cups sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds, optional
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt

Butter a baking sheet and a sheet of parchment or a silicone mat.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, toast the sesame seeds on medium heat until golden and aromatic. (TIPs: Keep a few untoasted sesame seeds nearby for comparison. The color change is subtle. If using both light and dark sesame seeds, toast them separately so the changing color is more obvious.) Stir very often at the beginning, then continuously as the seeds begin to turn color. (TIP: They turn fast from perfect to burned so do keep stirring, do be ready to transfer to a cool container waiting as soon as they're done so the heat source is removed.) Set aside.

In the same skillet, mix the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil on medium heat, stirring continuously, then let boil for 2 minutes, still stirring. Remove from heat.

Working quickly, stir seeds into the sugar mixture. Transfer immediately to the baking sheet, spreading as best you can with a spatula. Place the parchment or silicone mat on top as protection from the hot sugar, then use the palm of your hand to press the seeds into an even and thin sheet. (TIP: Use a rolling pin for thin, even pieces.)

Still working quickly, with a knife, score the sesame candy into diamond-shaped pieces. Once the entire piece is marked, go back and cut clear through. (TIP: To skip the cutting step, let cool for 15 minutes. Lift the entire sheet off the baking sheet, break candy into pieces.)

Store in layers separated by wax paper.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per piece (assumes 80 pieces from one batch): 33Cal; 2g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 15mg Sodium; 4g Carb; 1g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 1g Protein; Weight Watchers 0 points

CHRISTMAS COOKIES from AROUND the WORLD

So who's up to their elbows in flour with Christmas cookie baking? I do so envy you! My own baking has yet to begin and this year will be much curtailed. (Granted, other years' 25 or more batches was out-of-this-world crazy.) So this year, I am baking vicariously through all the Christmas cookies being collected by my friend Susan from Food Blogga, she calls it Eat Christmas Cookies, season two.


More Candy Treats

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Caramel Corn Graham Cracker Toffee Perfect M&M Cookies
~ more sesame seed recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture


Holiday Baking - My Favorite Christmas Cookies

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Cranberry-Mac Morsels Frosty Christmas Trees Gourmet Cookies

~ Jesus' Birthday Cake ~
a way to celebrate the true meaning of the season


Sesame candy was one of grandmother's favorites. And you're so right about them being ideal for shipping. For years, my grandmother would mail tins full of this candy from RI to CA, where my uncle was living. Thanks for the lovely memories and wonderful entry, Alanna.
 
The sesame candy looks great. So do all the other pictures of cookies you've got here.
 
I haven't had sesame candy since I was kid, but I do remember loving it. Yours looks wonderful!
 
Sesame Snaps from the health food store down the street were a childhood favourite of mine!!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe!!
 
Those sesame seed candies look so good!
 
I love sesame candy! I just made a cupcake version of it. I'll have to try your candy recipe at some point.
 
i LOVE this recipe. i reblogged it - of coarse i gave you credit! i hope you don't mind, i even used your picture (your picture is what enticed me to try YOUR recipe!)

http://theoutcrop.blogspot.com/2011/06/sesame-crunch.html
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna