Dear friends, I apologize for the long absence: Manuel and I were busy preparing our cooking classes for the “Jewish & the City” festival until Monday, and as soon as I finished those, I had two exams at university. I certainly had some very busy days!
The good news is that with this final rush of studying I have completed all my exams for my master’s degree, so now, other than working on my final dissertation, I will be free and will have a lot of time to devote to Labna. In short, there will soon be many news on these pages, as well as, of course, many recipes!
Today, to start over on the right foot, I will share with you a simple recipe to prepare a little treat I know. In English, we call them simply sesame bars, in Italian sesamini, in Greek pasteli, and, last but not least, in Hebrew we say sumsumit. It’s interesting how every culture seems to have a word for these simple energy bars at the crossroads between candy and a snack. They are actually quite easy to make, which probably also contributed to their success all over the world, but I warn you, they are addictive, so go easy on them!
When I was on vacation in Israel, where sumsumit is very common, I got used to snacking on these sesame bars, so once I returned home, I found myself looking for a recipe to replicate them, and found one by the talented blogger Adi of “The Graceful Kitchen“, that served as my starting point.
- 300 g sesame seeds
- 50 g brown sugar
- 45 g acacia or wildflower honey (vegans can use rice syrup)
- First, prepare what you need for the recipe; you want to have all the ingredients on the counter ready to work quickly when the sugar is hot.
- Line a cookie tray with a sheet of parchment paper. A silicone cake pan would work great too. Next to it, place a bowl of water, a rolling pin, a silicone spatula, and a smooth-edged kitchen knife.
- In a medium pot, melt the sugar with the honey over low heat, stirring well, until the crystals dissolve. When the mixture starts bubbling up, jump to the next step.45 g acacia or wildflower honey (vegans can use rice syrup), 50 g brown sugar
- Pour the sesame seeds into the boiling sugar and stir vigorously so that all the seeds are coated; never stop stirring, otherwise the sesame will burn. The sesame should be golden and smell toasty/roasted, not burnt.300 g sesame seeds
- Quickly transfer the sesame onto the parchment paper, and spread it in a single layer of 1/2 cm thickness with the help of the spatula and the rolling pin. The important thing is to work quickly and easily because the sesame will harden almost immediately.
- You will not be able to realistically obtain a perfectly rectangular block, but I am sure that someone will make a huge sacrifice and eat the ugly-looking, uneven bits and pieces if there are any!
- Cut the sesame block into bars (sometimes I make candy-sized bites, too). If you are having trouble cutting, run the knife blade under hot water for a moment, and try again.
- Let the sesame bars dry and cool. You can store the sesame bars in a tin box, making sure to separate the individual bars with parchment paper so they don't stick together. It is important to keep the sesame bars away from the air to keep them crunchy, as they become gummy quickly if you don't store them properly.