Now that warmer weather has finally started to arrive, it's time to think of cooler beverages and lighter desserts. This pairing, found on Paula Deen's website is just that. Cool and refreshing without being overly filling.
When Lynn, at Happier Than a Pig in Mud announced that she was having a celebrity chef cook-along in May with Paula Deen as the selected chef, I was concerned that I'd have to corner the market on butter to make something to share.
Searching through Paula Deen's website, I found this recipe for Benne Seed cookies. I thought they sounded light and delicious and I love sesame seeds. Then I read it used 3 sticks of butter! I cut the recipe in half and I'm so happy I did because the original recipe would have made way too many cookies. I still ended up with over 3 dozen cookies - more than enough for me and my husband. And, they freeze well.
The cookies are lacey, crispy and delicious. If you like sesame seeds and like a crispy cookie, these are great.
Paula's lime sherbet punch is similar to those sherbet punches most of us have made in the past. It's refreshing and delicious and what a gorgeous color for spring! Rather than making a full punch bowl full, as the recipe indicates, I just added a small scoop of lime sherbet to a tall glass with a couple ounces of pineapple juice and stirred in ginger ale to the top. I found the most delicious Green Tea Ginger Ale which I used to make this and also added a squeeze of fresh lime juice for an extra zip of lime flavor.
Benne Seed Cookies
Adapted from Paula Deen's Recipe
This recipe is easily halved, which I did. A half recipes makes about 3 dozen cookies. My halved ingredients are in parentheses.
1 1/2 (3/4) cups sesame seeds
1 (1-pound) (1-1/4 cup) box light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (1-1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 (1) large eggs
2 (1) cups all-purpose flour
1 (1/2) teaspoon baking powder
1/4 (1/8) teaspoon salt
2 (1) teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
If you’re using raw sesame seeds, place the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for about 3 minutes, watching carefully. They should just begin to brown lightly. Set aside to cool completely.
Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Using an electric mixer, cream the sugar, butter and eggs until very light, about 5 minutes. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and stir with the spatula until combined. Add the vanilla. Stir in the cooled sesame seeds. Drop the batter by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets, 1 inch apart. They will spread into perfect circles during baking.
Bake until very brown but not burned at the edges, about 14 to 15 minutes. Important: Let the cookies cool completely on the parchment paper, then peel them away from the paper. Store between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container. These cookies freeze well in tins. They will crumble in a plastic freezer bag.
Lime Sherbet Punch
Adapted from Paula Deen's Website
Servings: 6-8 glasses (See individual serving notes below)
2 quarts lime sherbet
2 liters ginger ale (I used Green Tea Ginger Ale)
1 (46-ounce) can pineapple juice
Maraschino cherries (optional)
A squeeze of fresh lime juice
In a punch bowl, add 2 quarts of lime sherbet. Then add ginger ale and pineapple juice. Decorate with lemon and lime slices and some maraschino cherries.
Or, if just making 1-2 servings, as I did, add a scoop of lime sherbet to a tall glass, add 2 ounces of pineapple juice and stir together. Fill glass with ginger ale and stir gently. Garnish with lemon and lime slices and serve with a straw. I omitted the Maraschino cherries.
This is my submission to the Paula Deen Celebrity Cook-Along at Happier Than a Pig in Mud and I'm joining Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.