Savory Sesame Cookies Recipe

Savory Sesame Cookies

If you read French food blogs at all, you’ve no doubt come across Clea Cuisine: Clea has been writing since March of 2005 — first from Japan, where she was living then, and now from the South-East of France — and her unique voice has quickly earned her stripes in the French blogosphere.

I’ve been a reader practically since the beginning — I remember early posts about baking cakes in her rice cooker, teaching members of her French club how to make bugnes (a traditional Mardi-Gras donut), or eating ekiben (railway bento) on the train — and I am very fond of her quietly inspired style, which blends French and Japanese influences, and focuses on simple, wholesome foods.

She’s a prolific cookbook author, too, and she writes for an independent French publisher named La Plage (literally “the beach”) that’s devoted to natural living and vegetarian cooking, and is therefore a perfect fit.

One of her most recent titles is called Croquez salé*, a prettily styled book that contains recipes for savory cookies and crackers to snack on in the afternoon, pack into your lunchbox, or serve with pre-dinner drinks. The savory cookie category is one that definitely deserves more attention than it usually gets, and Clea works to change that with some thirty recipes that manage to be both original and unfussy.

My eye was immediately caught by the Petits croquants au sésame on page 54. The recipe calls for ingredients that are easily kept on hand for an impromptu batch — sesame butter, gomasio, sesame seeds, flour, an egg — and uses the slice-and-bake technique, my favorite shaping method of all.

I make just two changes to Clea’s recipe: I use tahini rather than sesame butter (the former is made from hulled sesame seeds, the latter from whole or partially whole seeds) because that’s what I usually buy, and I press the rounds of dough with the tines of a fork before baking, to create little grooves and ridges that boost the textural interest.

These tasty little numbers are crisp and crumbly with a vivid sesame flavor, and they pair well with a few radishes at the apéritif. I’ve also had them with a smear of fresh cheese to accompany a green salad at lunchtime, and they come in handy when you need to hit pause on your appetite because dinner is taking longer to cook than planned.

[More crackers and savory cookies from the archives:
~ Raw multiseed crackers,
~ Olive oil and seed crackers,
~ Cheese thins,
~ Aged gouda and dried pear scones,
~ Carrot and rosemary mini-scones,
~ Zaatar pita chips.]

* An awkward-to-translate phrase that invites you to “bite into something savory.”

Savory Sesame Cookies

– 80 grams (1/3 cup) tahini or sesame butter
– 60 grams (1/2 cup) light whole wheat flour (if unavailable, substitute half whole wheat and half all-purpose; use T80 flour in France)
– 2 teaspoons gomasio (a Japanese mix of salt and ground sesame)
– 4 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
– 1 egg

For about two dozen cookies.

In a medium mixing bowl, place the tahini, flour, gomasio and sesame seeds, and combine with the tips of your fingers or a fork.

Add the egg and mix until the dough comes together and forms a ball; the dough should be soft but not sticky. Add a few drops of water if it’s too dry, or a little flour if it’s too tacky.

Divide the dough in two pieces and shape each into a log, about 4 cm (1 1/2″) in diameter. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Slice each log into 1-cm (1/3″) slices. Arrange them on the prepared baking sheet (they won’t expand much while baking) and press the tines of a fork on each slice to form ridges.

Bake for 15 minutes, until set. Let cool completely before serving. The cookies keep for about 2 weeks at room temperature in an airtight container.

Adapted from Croquez salé by Clea.

Cooking/baking time: 15 min

  • I just had the experience of learning to make zelnike crackers (made from sauer kraut) – it’s not something I’ve ever tried my hand at before. These sound delicious – a crunchy bite with a sliver of creamy cheese is the perfect snack to me.

  • Oh my, these look lovely. And likely easy to make gluten-free and minus the egg. Thank you for reminding me about Clea – I just realized her RSS has not shown up in my reader in a long time so I just resubscribed.

  • Nice and simple, I am tempted to try these ones as the base of little smoked salmon/cream cheese starters. Sweet version might turn out lovely as well.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  • Yum, yum! I make sweet sesame cookies, rolled in black and white sesame seeds so they’re extra pretty. This savory version looks great, too.

  • These look great! I am very fond of Clea’s blog too :)

  • Je suis rouge d’émotion :))
    Et j’aime beaucoup ton idée de donner quelques coups de fourchette bien placés pour apporter une texture plus intéressante !
    Merci !

  • Mmmm! Will try your recipe and her book!

  • It is so nice to see your blog about Cléa. She is such a talented ‘health’ food cook. It seems like you have been getting the health food bug… every other post seems to be grains this and seeds that!

  • Colin


    Is there anywhere that you could possibly translate the recipe for baking a cake in the rice cooker? I’m currently living in Korea with no access to an oven whatsoever and I dearly miss baking. Unfortunately, I don’t read French very well!

  • Rachel

    These look great! (I wonder how they’d taste with a tiny bit of nori crumbled over them.) I’m also a fan of Clea’s blog… that book is definitely going on my (ever-expanding) wishlist for my next trip to France.

  • tahini is a great taste even in sweet or savoy recipes! i love it with eggplant or cinnamon:) very rich flavor indeed. thanx for sharing, now i’ll take a look at clea’s site:)

  • These sound like they would be great with some tapenade. I like how simple the recipe is, and how great the results seem! Merci Clea!

  • Can’t say that I’ve ever seen a cookie recipe that includes tahini – I’m intrigued!

  • I love savoury snacks – I have to make these and I love the suggestion of adding black as well as white sesame seeds and nori in there. Great contributions all! :D

  • Sesame cookies?

    Not gonna lie, upon the title of this post I nearly turned up my nose and ran the hell away.

    Upon further examination, this recipe looks absolutely delicious. The perfect end to a night of an Oriental meal or male hosting in Osaka.

  • A few nights ago I made a batch of savory biscotti (with Gruyere, rosemary, and thyme), and have been dreaming up more savory cookie ideas even since. They’re wonderfully satisfying as a snack, or with coffee in the morning, and they’re the perfect complement to a bowl of soup.

  • Oh my, these look awesome. And very easy to make. Thank you for sharing this wonderful stuff with us. Here is another site worth a look :) they are new but nice

  • Thanks I alway thought tahini and sesame butter were the same thing. I wonder if tahini could be used in a sesame tuile recipe.

  • Those are the best & first sesame cookies I’ve ever seen. They are probably really great tasting…

  • I am crazy about cookies!!! Thank you for the wonderful recipes. These Sesame cookies are new to me. I will definitely try this. This post is completely dedicated for me. As I love any food items made out of Sesame seeds :- )

  • I am intrigued but don’t see where the sweetness comes from to make these “cookies” and not “crackers”.

    What could be replaced for the gomasio? Maybe I could blend salt and sesame seeds.

    • These are savory cookies, which is why there is no sweetener.

      As for the gomasio, it can be made simply by grinding sesame seeds with salt — I generally use eight parts sesame to one part salt.

  • These were amazing. I have such a thing for japanese/french baking that these totally caught my eye. Love your site. I’ve been a lurker for a long time but these made me smile. Love them in my lunchbox and I love clea too. Beth

  • How have I missed this little wonder?

    These look amazing. Thanks for the tip!

  • I admit that cookies are less of my likes, but when I see this pics.I can’t wait to take a bite!!! I must try it.

  • Sesame oil is high in poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fat, which helps to lower cholesterol. Furthermore, sesame oil is also low in saturated fats, which increase the risk of heart diseases.

  • This looks like exactly what I was looking for to make on a Thursday afternoon. And it looks like super healthy stuff too!! Thanks!

  • Really fine Work Chef. Will Definitely Try your recipe. Please visit my Page as well For some Fine recipes regarding

    Caprese Skewers.

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