These cookies are perfect to make last minute for Easter. I cut them into rectangles but you can easily choose any shape you would like. You can even use little moulds in the shape of an egg or a bunny! The traditional menu-meniyong cookie is from Mali. The market in Mali is still the place to meet, do business, have a snack at a street stall and, of course, to do your daily shopping. These crunchy sweet sesame cookies can be found in every Mali market. The traditional meniyong biscuit is usually this rectangular shape and is a popular treat after the shopping is done. Mali produces a lot of sesame seeds and it is one of the larger export products. Nowadays the honey in the recipe is often replaced by sugar, which makes the cookie cheaper. But you can really taste the difference. Honey is simply much tastier. The temperature of the caramel is important when you make meniyong. It must turn hard when it cools down. When you boil the honey mixture too long the biscuit becomes rock hard, but if you are impatient and you don’t boil it long enough you will end up with a toffee instead of a cookie. If you find your mini-meniyong cookie is not firm enough after cooling, you can simply let it melt again in the pan and leave it to boil for a little longer. But you can also just accept your fate. A good toffee tastes just as nice with a cup of tea!
Do you prefer a more traditional Easter cookie?
Check out the non-plus ultra cookie from Hungary, the tarallo cookie from Italy or the figolla cookie from Malta!
Meni-meniyong cookie from Mali
for ± 20 cookies
120 g (1 cup) sesame seeds
250 g (1 cup) honey
60 g (4 tbs) butter + extra for greasing
pinch of salt
Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan.
Grease with butter a shallow baking tin of ± 28 x 18 cm / 11 x 7 inch.
Put the honey and butter in a pan and bring to a boil.
Boil gently for 10-15 minutes or until the mass has a nice dark caramel color. Drop about ¼ teaspoon on a cold saucer and leave to cool. The mass must be just hard. Too soft and your cookie will be toffee-like. Too hard and you will break your teeth.
When the caramel has the right consistency, mix in the sesame seeds and the salt.
Pour everything into the baking tin.
Leave to cool slightly and score in rectangles with a knife. That makes easier to break or cut the cookies later.
Take out of the tin and break or cut into pieces.
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