Sunday, June 19, 2011

sesame crunch

i've been buying this sesame crunch candy stuff off and on from REI for ages.  and not long ago, i saw it in the bulk section at whole foods.  it is REALLY expensive, but for what it costs to buy sesame seeds, i figured that it was cheaper to buy it than to make it.

on friday, one of my coworkers (who is from china) and i took a lunch trip to the grand asia market in cary.  there, i bought a large bag of sesame seeds for $3.99 plus a small bag of black sesame seeds for $1.59.  i found this recipe online and i tried it.  her recipe is perfect, but i'm going to repost my abridged version for my own use.  i'm also going to post her picture because it is pretty.  mine didn't turn out as pretty (i.e. when i rolled it out, they weren't as flat, even though i did use a rolling pin, and only the ones in the middle were square - the edge pieces were all crazy shaped.  but, since it'll just be me and holly eating it, well, i don't really care.  mine is alittle darker than hers but i used dark brown sugar since it is what i had so that is a little different too.  i also used little more black sesame seeds because i think they look REALLY cool. but, hers are really pretty and her picture is why i chose her recipe to make, so - here is her picture!)

sesame candy crunch

2 cups sesame seeds
2 heaping Tbs black sesame seeds

in a large pot over med-high heat, roast the seeds - i roasted them in two batches.  this was quicker than i expected. i was using margarine to grease a large, flat sheet pan and they quickly started to pop and smell very sesame-like and i was stirring and shaking the pot.  no butter or oil or anything (and no lid).  it was a lot like popping popcorn, time wise (maybe quicker).  when they were really aromatic and starting to turn brown, i poured them into a separate pan (i had a large metal bowl) that i had on standby to remove them from the heat.

i removed the pot from the burner and let it cool off a bit, and turned the burner off.  i got out my next set of ingredients.

1/2 cups honey
1/2 cup organic dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cse sea salt

turned the burner back onto medium and added the above ingredients.  they also quickly started to boil, and i set the timer for 2 minutes and stirred constantly.  when the 2 minutes was up, i removed it from the heat and added the roasted seeds.  they made a large mass, and then i scooped them up with the spatula and put them on the greased pan.  i put a piece of parchment paper over them, which in hindsight i wish i had also sprayed or greased because it stuck a little, and then mashed it flat on the pan.  then i used the rolling pin to make it uniformly flat and thin.

i moved the pan several times around the kitchen so it would cook quickly. everywhere it was left a hot spot on the counter.  within 20 minutes, it was fairly cool (easily touchable).  i used a pizza cutter to score it.  then i used a knife - long butcher knife - to cut and separate it.  i had to use a metal spatula to get some of them (the middle ones) unstuck from the pan.

holly loves them. she ate most of the edge ones (as did i).  mine are chewy, not crispy at all.  i don't know if they will harden any more.  i made them 2 hours ago so i think they'd harden by now.  but, they are good chewy like this.  i LOVE them and will make this again and again.  the printed version of this recipe is going into my recipe container.  i like and even love a lot of recipes, but not many make it that far.  :)

MAKE these cookies.  you will be impressed, even at how easy they are!  sorta like rice krispy treats except healthier.

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