Turmeric sesame cookies.

Turmeric Sesame Cookies (Gelt)

I’m always looking for ways to incorporate my southern roots into my Southern California life. Bene Seed Wafers are very popular in the south . They were actually one of the foods brought over from West Africa.

I love all things sesame! I also love turmeric so when I was looking for ways to create a Hanukkah cookies adding turmeric to make them warm and golden was perfect.

These cookies are sweet, but not too much. The turmeric adds a warmth but not spice.

Turmeric sesame cookies.
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Turmeric (Gelt) Sesame Cookies

This is my riff on Southern Bene Seed Cookies.
Course: Endings, Everything Else
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cookies, sesame, turmeric


  • 3/4 Cup Unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 Cups Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Lg Eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1-2 tsp. Ground Turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1-1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Turbinado Sugar


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add in eggs one at a time.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together turmeric, flour, baking powder and sesame seeds.
  • Gradually add flour mixture into sugar mixture, just until well combined. Do not over mix.
  • Turn out onto parchment paper and form dough into a log, roll in turbinado sugar and let chill for up to an hour.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Slice cookies into 1/4” circles and and place 2” apart on baking sheets.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes until edges are just golden brown.
  • Let cool 10 minutes on pan then transfer to rack to cool completely.

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