Sesame Seed Cookies - "Gigiulena"
 Source:  Although there are many versions, this recipe was one that my relatives provided my mom when she married into the "family".
Makes 6 dozen cookies.



4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1-3/4 cup sugar (can be reduced to taste)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt


1 cup butter (shortening or margarine)

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (typical recipes do not add extract, optional)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup milk [1 tablespoon at a time]


3/4 cup sesame seeds [1/4 lb.]




1.  Prep the oven and cookie sheets.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and lightly grease two cookie sheets.  [I prefer to line two large cookie sheets with Silpat liners]


2.  Sift together into a bowl the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut in with a pastry blender or with two knives the shortening until pieces are the size of small peas.


3.  Mix in eggs, vanilla extract and milk one tablespoon at a time until dough is soft and well mixed thoroughly. (Unlike many recipes this recipe does not require overnight refrigeration of dough, but keep the remaining dough refrigerated while rolling the cookies out.  Although we typically make the full patch at once you can refrigerate the dough at this step to finish at a later time.


4.  Divide the dough into small pieces and roll each piece between the palms of your hands to form rolls about 1-1/2-in in length.  Flatten rolls slightly, and roll in sesame seeds.  (Although some recipes require toasting sesame seeds, we do not recommend it for this recipe.)


7.  Place on sesame seed cookies on cookie sheets, spaced  about 3/4-in apart.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned.

Makes 6 dozens cookies.

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