A friend of mine asked me if I liked sesame cookies and of course I said yes, because I adore sesame cookies. There are several different kinds out there and they all tend to be crisp and crunchy and full of that rich nutty goodness that is a sesame seed. As a kid I had to be coaxed into trying those brown sesame candies that are basically honey and sesame seeds bound together into one delicious bite. It took a while for the flavor to grow on me but once it did I was hooked. As I got older and began cooking I discovered the deep flavor of roasted sesame oil and how a few drops could make a huge difference in the flavor of a finished dish. As with many ingredients, I go through phases, using them often and then losing them to new passions and relegating the sesame seeds to the back of the shelf.
The very next day she brought me these cookies. They are Lebanese sesame cookies, with her own special twist, only slightly sweet, spicy, thin, crispy, and totally delicious. The spices were a surprise for me, reminding me vaguely of ras al hanout, and adding a haunting depth to the flavor to the cookies. She's promised me the recipe, though I'm still waiting, and in the meantime I've added making my own version of these cookies to my list of things to do. Seed cakes and cookies were very popular in Victorian times though have mostly fallen out of favor. I'm thinking it's time for a renaissance.