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Simplicity at Its Tastiest

July 18, 1996|BETTY ROSBOTTOM | Rosbottom is author of "First Impressions" (William Morrow)

These sesame lace cookies are addicting from the first bite. The cookies are thin, crisp, lacy wafers flavored with bits of sesame.

It's hard to believe how easy they are to make. Melted butter, light brown sugar and corn syrup are heated together and combined with rolled oats, a little flour, vanilla and toasted sesame seeds. The dough is dropped by teaspoons onto baking sheets, and magically, during only a few minutes of baking, the cookies spread to a paper-thin consistency and become a rich golden brown.

SESAME LACE COOKIES

Nonstick vegetable spray

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup butter

6 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons light corn syrup

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 tablespoon flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

This recipe comes from my friend Dede Wilson.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray.

Toast sesame seeds in heavy, ungreased medium-sized skillet over medium heat, stirring, until seeds turn golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Watch carefully, as they burn easily. When done, scrape seeds onto plate.

Melt butter in heavy medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. When butter melts and bubbles, cook, stirring, 1 minute, then add brown sugar and corn syrup. Stir to combine and bring to gentle boil. Boil 1 minute, stirring once or twice.

Add oats, flour, salt and vanilla extract and stir to mix well. Stir in reserved sesame seeds and remove from heat. Mixture will be thick and sticky.

Use 1 teaspoon measure and drop dough onto prepared baking sheets. Use kitchen knife to loosen dough from measuring spoon. Space cookies 3 inches apart. (Cookies spread considerably as they bake.)

Place 1 sheet in oven and bake at 350 degrees 3 minutes. At this point cookies will have started to spread and outer edges will begin to bubble. Reverse pan front to back and bake 3 more minutes for total baking time of 6 minutes. Cookies will be completely flat and bubbling and should be rich golden brown. If they are not golden at end of 6 minutes, bake 1 minute more, watching carefully.

Remove cookies from oven and place on rack to cool 5 minutes. Cookies will harden enough that that can be removed from pan. Gently lift them with metal spatula or with your hands to cooling rack.

While first batch of cookies is cooling, place second baking sheet in oven to bake in same way and prepare first baking sheet with new batch of cookies as before. Continue baking cookies in batches, 1 sheet at time, until all dough is used. Parchment paper or foil can be reused; spray with more nonstick spray if needed. Dough will stiffen as it sits, but this will not affect baking; if it gets too stiff to dip out easily, heat saucepan over low heat to soften dough.

To store, carefully stack cooled cookies, which are fragile, in airtight containers and leave at cool room temperature. Cookies can be made 3 to 4 days ahead.

Makes 36 to 40 cookies.

Each of 36 cookies contains about:

43 calories; 28 mg sodium; 3 mg cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 7 grams carbohydrates; 0 protein; 0.06 gram fiber.

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