When I was a very little girl, my grandpa, Hey Ray, would take me to a little natural foods store in Paradise CA and we'd get a bag of little rectangular crunchy candies. These candies were laden with sesame seeds and tasted of honey. Over the years I received these little pieces of crunchy bliss from him as candy. It was a while before he started giving me "real" candy. And even though I do love a good Baby Ruth or Twix, I still love the sesame snap.
A few years ago I found something similar to them in the bulk section at the WinCo in Chico. However, they were much bigger - almost the size of half a playing card and nearly twice as thick. What I recall were little rectangles, about the size of a piece of Trident chewing gum.
Over the weekend I decided to try to find a recipe and recreate these little numbers, the source of so much childhood fondness. What I discovered is that the recipe is INCREDIBLY simple. Sesame seeds, honey and brown sugar. The process is fairly simple as well.
This recipe will receive some tweaking over the next few times I make it - as it seems a little more sesame heavy than I recall. However, the basic taste is there and likely won't take much to make it near identical to what I remember.
2 c. sesame seeds
1/2c. packed light brown sugar
Unfortunately, my candy thermometer did not survive the toffee & brittle extravaganza.... so I have NO clue how hot this needs to get...But first, take two sheets of waxed paper or parchment and spray each sheet with non stick spray - set aside. Have a rolling pin or heavy glass ready.
Now, in a nonstick skillet, over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds (no oil). This took about 5 minutes, maybe a little longer. If you hear them starting to make popping noises, you know they're done. Be sure to stir this constantly or you'll have some VERY browned or even burned seeds on the bottom and no toasting going on up above.
Next, put the honey and brown sugar in a pan and bring to a boil, also over medium heat. You don't want to over cook this or it'll taste burned. The recipe I based this on said this takes about 5 minutes - you want it to come to a rolling boil and become slightly thick. Keeping the heat lower prevents it from browning.
Once it's thickened, add the sesame seeds and mix well to combine. Immediately turn out onto one of the sheets of waxed or parchment paper. Lay the other sheet over the top and begin rolling out. Be very careful here - it's extremely easy to roll these too thin. Shoot for about 1/4" at the thinnest, but no more than 3/8" as you don't want these to be too hard to bite through. If you roll them too thin there'll be little to no honey flavor and it'll be like a thick sheet of sesame paper.
After you've got it rolled out, remove the top piece of paper and score the candy with a sharp large blade knife - like a large chef's knife. You can cut all the way through if you like, but basically you want to cut it enough that you can easily break it apart once it's completely cooled. You can cut squares or rectangles or triangles or diamonds or - whatever you like!
After the candy is completely cooled, break it into the individual pieces. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Try these soon... until then, we'll be without blog till after Halloween. I hope everyone has a safe & fun holiday!