Toward the end of August a couple of years ago, in a windowless/kind of horrible dorm in Positano on the Amalfi Coast, we were sitting on the balcony with a group of other travellers having a beer or two and chatting before dinner, if you have ever done the backpacking thing you will know what kind of chat I mean; "so where are you from? How long are you traveling for? Where are you off to next? Oh you're from Australia! Do you keep Kangaroos as pets there? How much could I buy one for?" A little boy once tried to convince me that you couldn't live in Australia because "it's too sandy there."
Anyway, this hodge podge group of people and I got talking about Movember and how ridiculous everyone looks with moustaches. Now I don't know why I said this, maybe because many-a-beer drastically interferes with the filter between my brain and my mouth, but I started to giggle and blurted out "you know what they have in Australia for girls instead of Movember? FANUARY! No bikini waxes for a month! haha!"
I tried to say I was joking, which I was, but no dice. Their first impression of me went down like a lead balloon. I thought it was so funny! Clearly not funny (to some people), just gross. Ed was so embarrassed he nearly jumped off the balcony. I wish I had a bag of these snaps to shove in their dropped jaws at that moment. It wasn't pretty.
In Australia, and other places I'm sure, sesame snaps are passed off as a health-food. They are stocked in the supermarket near the muesli bars and nuts, even though they hold about as much nutritional value as a toffee apple. If you tried to pass them off to the Europeans as a healthy snack, you would stumble through a minefield of dirty looks. It's rude to say something is healthy when it's not, not dissimilar to mentioning fannies in public. So I added caramel to the title of this post, because it's true; you're not getting healthy, you're getting a sugar hit, and a great one at that. The only silence I want to hear from you is the moment when you taste these... because they are astonishingly crispy, caramelized and wonderful. A good foil in case you ever embarrass yourself in front of a huge group of strangers. Keep some in your pocket at all times.
Caramel Sesame Snaps (aka Benne Wafers):
Adapted from The Wednesday Chef
makes approx 20 snaps
1 1/2 tablespoons of cool (but not cold) butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour
1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Cream the butter and the sugar together in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until all combined, light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until the mixture is smooth. Add flour, salt and vanilla extract and beat on low speed until combined. Stir in the sesame seeds so they are evenly distributed.
Spoon 1 tablespoon drops of mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet, space them about 4cm apart, they spread a lot. Flatten them with a knife dipped in iced water. Bake in the oven for 6-15 minutes until they are flat (they puff up a bit before smoothing back out) and golden brown, a little darker around the edges. Pull the parchment straight onto a wire cooling rack and cool for 5 minutes to ensure they crisp up.
As soon as they are cool store in a sealed container, or they become soft. Now that I think about it, these would be lovely crushed over roasted peaches.