Black Sesame Lace Cookies

Black Sesame Lace Cookies

[Photograph: Keller & Keller]

In the intro to Flour, Joanne Chang talks about her traditional Chinese upbringing, which was sadly devoid of sweets. These Black Sesame Lace Cookies take flavors of her childhood and combine them with her later-in-life love affair with pastry for ethereally light, crisp cookies.

Reprinted with permission from Flour by Joanne Chang. Copyright © 2010. Published by Chronicle Books. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

  • Yield:24 cookies
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:30 minutes plus 4 hours chilling time


  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 7 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 1/2 oranges)
  • 3 tablespoons black sesame seeds


  1. 1.

    Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer or a wooden spoon), cream the butter until creamy and light, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and continue to beat on medium speed for about 1 minute, or until combined. Turn the speed down to low and add the flour and mix until well combined. Slowly drizzle in the orange juice and mix for about 30 seconds. Transfer the batter to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or for up to 1 week.

  2. 2.

    When ready to bake cookies, position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a very flat baking sheet with parchment paper. (This batter spreads like crazy, so you have to use an extremely flat baking sheet in order for the cookies to bake in circles and not amoeba-like shapes.)

  3. 3.

    Pinch off rounded tablespoon-size balls of dough and place on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart to allow for spreading.

  4. 4.

    Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until the cookies are completely golden brown throughout. Let cool completely (they must be firm to the touch) on the baking sheet on a wire rack. Gently remove the cookies from the parchment.

  5. 5.

    The cookies can be stored, in layers separated with sheets of parchment paper or waxed paper, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.