Whole Wheat Sesame Ginger Cookies (especially for grown-ups)


There's not much of a storyline accompanying these cookies, which is something of a relief since it's back-to-school week, and as much as I love  whimsically explaining the domino-like associations that constitute back stories, my brain is fried from just day two of providing nonstop explanations.  It's always a little bit of a jolt at the beginning of the year, remembering that while our Kinder team bade goodbye to qualified first graders, we're welcoming preschoolers, from the tentative to the rambunctious, and everything needs to be introduced in detail, modeled, and patiently practiced, from staying in line to sitting down, waiting turns to washing hands immediately upon leaving the bathroom. On that note, these cookies provide even more relief right now in the sense that they represent a child-like treat, but suited almost exclusively to the adult palate. I won't go so far as to say they are healthy, but they're definitely edging closer within the context of being cookies. For one thing, they're  not exceptionally sweet, and chances are they won't go win over your typical child's sweet buds. The real catalyst for this cookie was the fact that I had several bags with a solid inch worth of residual sesame seeds, the remains of a couple of bags of Trader Joe's honey sesame almonds and cashews that my Mom had sent us. Dave loves these, and my Mom is always concerned that his 6'5", skinny frame is at risk of being deprived due to my finicky control over cupboard stocking. Plus, one of the few complaints I have about our Colorado abode is the lack of a Trader Joe's, and these care packages add tons of sunshine and potential for livening up salads. I once tried a sesame cookie from Cooking Light which uses tahini and sesame oil in place of butter, and I really liked it, but somehow not enough to make them again, though I expect I will on rare occasions. This cookie, on the other hand, is more of a cross between the Cooking Light sesame cookie and a molasses cookie or ginger snap. Depending on how high you go with your heat, you can create quite individual versions with the same dough. I think I prefer the crisper product from baking at 375, though the lower heat has a chewier texture that is nice, too. The other inspiration behind this recipe is simply the fact that I'm trying to shave off all baked goods with an extended shelf life to the greatest extent possible from our diet. The first easy means of achieving big gains  is our new bread maker. True to back-to-school time, my mind is also obstinately translating this latest goal in its own playful way, embedding a little voice in my psyche that keeps insisting "let's bake cookies", knowing full well I don't eat cookies all that much on a weekly basis. Except maybe this one. : )

Sesame Ginger Cookies

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2  cup  packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4  cup  molasses
  • 2   eggs
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup  whole wheat flour
  • 2  teaspoons  baking soda
  • 2  teaspoons  ground ginger
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds, divided

1) Preheat oven to 375° (350 derees for a softer version).

2) Mix brown sugar and butter. Add sesame oil, molasses and eggs; beat well. Stir in crystallized ginger and 2 tablespoons of the sesame seeds.

3) Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, baking soda, ground ginger, and cinnamon. Stir into molasses mixture.

4) Shape the dough into 30 balls, about 1 tablespoon each. Dip the balls in the reserved sesame seeds. Place the balls 2 inches apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes. Cool cookies on pans for 3 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool the cookies completely on wire racks.