Benne crackers

Benne Crackers

Total Time
40 min
20 min
20 min
Benne are a type of sesame seed originating in Africa. We call for sesame seeds since you can find them everywhere. This mash-up of Southern cheese straws and South Carolina benne wafers pairs perfectly with chicken salad or any snack tray. The crackers are thin, crispy, blended with cream cheese, and loaded with toasted sesame seeds. Serve with crudite, hummus, or your favorite dip.


Dried sesame seed kernels

2 Tbsp, (benne seeds)

All-purpose flour

1½ cup(s)

Kosher salt

½ tsp

Cayenne pepper

¼ tsp

Low fat cream cheese

2 oz, cut into small pieces


  1. Position oven racks in top and bottom thirds of oven and preheat to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In small skillet, cook sesame seeds over medium heat, tossing constantly, until toasted and golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  2. In food processor, add flour, salt, and cayenne and pulse to blend. Sprinkle cream cheese on top of flour and process until completely incorporated. With machine running, drizzle in 1⁄2 cup warm water through feed tube and blend until loose dough forms. Continue blending until dough comes together into solid ball, 1 to 2 minutes. (Dough should feel very tough and firm.)
  3. Place dough between 2 large sheets of parchment paper. Roll out dough to 1⁄4 inch thick. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Continue rolling until dough is 1⁄8 inch thick and sesame seeds are pressed into dough. Using sharp knife, pastry cutter, or pizza wheel, cut dough into 70 squares. Arrange squares on prepared baking sheets. Bake crackers, reversing sheets halfway through baking, until dry, crispy, and golden brown around edges, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely. (Crackers will become crisper as they cool.)
  4. Per serving: 7 crackers