Valerie DiGiacomo, a graphic designer at The Monitor, is a terrific cook who has been collecting treasured family recipes over the last three years with the aim of creating a family cookbook.
For Keeping the Feast’s First Annual Christmas Cookie Exchange, she made a contribution that should brighten smiles all around during the last week of Advent and the Christmas Season to come.
“This is a version Grandmother Millie Spadaro’s Sesame seed cookies. They always taste wonderful and bring me back to a simpler time when all I had to worry about was being good for Santa,” DiGiacomo said.
“They are crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside and not too sweet.”
Ingredients: 1 cup sugar; 1/2 cup butter, room temperature; 3 eggs, lightly beaten; 1 tsp vanilla; 3 cups flour; 1/4 tsp salt; 2 1/2 tsp baking powder; juice and rind of one orange; 1 cup milk; 1 cup sesame seeds; flour for kneading dough; oil for cookie sheets
Directions: Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well until fluffy. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time to the egg-butter mixture. Mix well after each addition. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead until smooth. Make finger sized shapes with dough (about 1 tbs). Dip cookie in milk and then roll in sesame seeds. Place cookies on oiled cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned.