Sesame Cookies 黒ゴマクッキー

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  • Sesame Cookies on a wooden dish.

    As everyone is busy planning holiday parties and baking Christmas cookies, I started to ponder what to bake for this holiday season.  I wanted to bake something Japanese and share it on the blog.

    Then I remember that I used to bake these delicious Sesame Cookies before I started blogging.  I searched for my notebook page where I jot down the recipe a while back.

    Sesame Cookies on a plate and flower.

    If you ask my children what kind of Japanese sweets they like, my son would immediately respond “Green Tea Ice Cream!” instead of more traditional wagashi (Japanese confectionery) like Mitarashi Dango.  Just like me, he’s into anything matcha (green tea) and he loves my Green Tea & White Chocolate Cookies.

    My daughter on the other hand is a strange kid (of course in a good way).  When she first tasted my Black Sesame Ice Cream, she was crazily in love.  Which 4 year old would enjoy nutty, sort of savory, unique flavor of black sesame ice cream?

    Sesame Cookies on a baking rack.

    So I knew my daughter would adore these Black Sesame Cookies (黒ゴマクッキー), and she did!

    If you wonder what is like to have black sesame seeds in cookies… Well, they are sweet, but the sesame seeds adds nutty savory flavor.  To me, it’s a perfect balance between the two, and the crisp texture is just too addictive!

    Sesame Cookies on a plate.

    These crisp cookies are called Icebox Cookies (Refrigerator Cookies) and they are made from cookie dough that has been formed into a roll and chilled in the refrigerator then sliced and baked.  This type of cookies are more popular and common in Japan than typical American cookies, such as Chocolate Chip Cookies.

    Hope you enjoy these delicious {sweet + savory} Sesame Cookies.  You can use white, black, or both sesame seeds for these cookies.  My favorite are definitely the black ones!

    Sesame Cookies on a plate and flower.

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    4.6 from 10 votes
    Sesame Cookies | Easy Japanese Recipes at
    Sesame Cookies
    Prep Time
    20 mins
    Cook Time
    15 mins
    Total Time
    1 hr 35 mins

    Nutty and sweet with a perfect combination of savory and sweet flavor; these delicious sesame cookies are irresistible!  

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: black sesame, cookie
    Servings: 40 Cookies
    • 120 g unsalted butter (= 1 stick or ½ cup or 4 oz or 117.4 g)
    • 160 g all purpose flour (5.6 oz)
    • 40 g almond meal (1.4 oz)
    • 80 g sugar (2.8 oz)
    • Pinch salt (kosher or sea salt; use half if using table salt)
    • 40 g white and black sesame seeds (roasted/toasted) (1.4 oz)
    • 1 large egg yolk
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Sesame Cookies Ingredients
    2. Cut the butter into small cubes and keep them refrigerated until ready to use (I cut on parchment paper and wrap up the butter for easy transfer.).
      Sesame Cookies 1
    3. In the food processor, combine the flour, almond meal, sugar, and salt. If you don’t have a food processor, you can simply use a bowl to mix all the ingredients.
      Sesame Cookies 2
    4. If you want your sesame seeds to be fine texture, add them now. If you prefer to keep the original shape of sesame seeds, add them with egg yolk later on.
      Sesame Cookies 3
    5. Take out the butter from the refrigerator and mix together. If you use a regular bowl to mix, use a dough/pastry blender to combine the butter into the dry ingredients.
      Sesame Cookies 4
    6. Lastly add egg yolk.
      Sesame Cookies 5
    7. If the food processor is small (like mine) and it doesn’t look like it’s mixed completely, take it out and mix well with a silicone spatula.
      Sesame Cookies 6
    8. Form the dough into a ball and cut in half.
      Sesame Cookies 7
    9. Roll it to a log approximately 2” across. For me it’s easier to work when the dough is wrapped in plastic wrap. While rolling, unwrap some parts of plastic wrap then roll again. Form a nice shape. I wasn't paying attention so my log is flat on one side (see step 11)!
      Sesame Cookies 8
    10. Wrap the logs tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
      Sesame Cookies 9
    11. Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C). Remove the dough from plastic wrap and cut into discs about 1/4 inch thick (if you prefer thicker cookies, cut into discs about 1/2 inch and you get 20 cookies total).
      Sesame Cookies 10
    12. Place them on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges.
      Sesame Cookies 11
    13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container. Enjoy the cookies within 3 days while they are best, or keep them in the freezer for up to a month.
      Sesame Cookies 12
    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

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