Tuesday, February 8, 2011


First I saw these cookies on FoodBuzz, they immediately caught my eye. I bookmarked the recipe and a few days later baked them, though in a little altered way.

The author of the recipe is Mama J @A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock n’Roll. Mama J has some pretty interesting recipes posted on her blog, do check them out! And for the original recipe and yummy photos click here

I’m posting these cookies in honor of Slovenian Cultural Holiday. My home country, Slovenia, celebrates Cultural Holiday every 8th of February. Why 8th of February? Because on this day the most famous Slovenian poet, France Prešeren (1800 -1849) died.

As most poets, his poetry was fueled with unfulfilled love of his life, Juila Primc, a daughter of a rich merchant and with love for his country Slovenia. Prešeren’s legacy in Slovenian culture is enormous, he is generally regarded as the national poet. Prešeren was the master of sonnet and his most famous work is called “A Wreath on Sonnets”. A volume of his poetry is collected in a book "Poems of Dr. France Prešeren" which is a must have in every Slovenian home. In 1990, after Slovenia became independent, the seventh stanza of his poem “Zdravljica” was declared the national anthem of Slovenia. And the highest Slovenian prize for artistic achievements is named after him “The Prešeren’s Award”.

Now back to the cookies. They have this caramely smell that rose into the air as soon as brown sugar was added to the melted and browned butter in the skillet. For this reason I call them Caramel Cookies. As for the alterations, I added some chili powder, ground ginger, and ground nutmeg into the cookie dough and instead of rolling the cookies into  brown and white sugar mixture prior baking, I topped them with sesame seeds in simple syrup. The result was a plate of gorgeous looking cookies! Even in my daughter’s school (my daughter and her friends are my taste rabbits, hehehehe) these cookies got the highest rates yet!

(Adapted form A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock n’Roll)
(For the printable version click here)

14 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla

5 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp simple sugar syrup

Directions (copied form original post):
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

1. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, chili powder, nutmeg, and salt together with a whisk and set aside.

2. Mix sesame seeds with simple sugar syrup. The goal is just to coat sesame seeds with sugar syrup so sesame seeds stick to the cookie and stay there. If you think that your sesame seed-sugar syrup mix is to dry, add a few more drops of simple sugar syrup.  (This will be used for topping the cookies before baking.)

3. In a sauce pan (not non stick) melt 10 tablespoons of butter.  Continue cooking on medium low heat, stirring constantly until the foaming subsides.  Continue stirring until the butter begins to brown and form little dark specks on the bottom of the sauce pan.  If you use a dark non stick pan, you will not see the change in color.  The browning butter can go from brown to burnt very quickly, so be careful.

4.  Remove the brown butter from the stove and pour into a mixing bowl.  Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of cold butter and whisk until melted.

5.  Add the 1 3/4 cups light brown sugar and whisk.

6.  Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and whisk.

7.  Fold in the dry ingredients.

8. Roll 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls, press them a bit, top with 1/4 tsp sesame seeds-sugar syrup mixture, and place on a parchment lined pan (I used aluminum foil covered baking sheet)- these cookies will spread.

9.  Bake for 8 to 9 minutes.  Remember to under bake your cookies and continue letting them 'bake' on the sheet pan, out of the oven, on a cooling rack.  When the cookies are cool on the sheet pan, transfer to a cooling rack and continue cooling.

I ended with 41 cookies.


  1. Those are beautiful Mateja! Also Prešeren was a wonderful poet. I grow up on a poetry, because of my uncle who was famous writer in our country too, poetry is very important to me too!
    Thanks for sharing piece of history and those tasty cookies!

  2. Thank you Mateja. These recipe looks delicious. Cookie recipes are always welcomed!!

  3. Beautiful job! I love the sesame seeds on the top.

  4. Any cookie with caramel in its name is a winner in my book! These sound SO good, Mateja!

  5. Looks delicious, especially with the sesame seeds on top!

  6. Lovely looking cookies, and a great info on poetry, thanks for sharing! I like the addition of the spices...mmmm...

  7. Great looking cookies, I've got to try sesame seeds!

  8. Oh, ginger and chili! YUM! These sound delish!

  9. Wow, chili powder in cookies! I love the twist. I'll have to try them this way. :)

  10. I love the way Slovenia honors poets and architects more than generals. And the first time I heard the national anthem (at the Slovenian Hall in SF) I thought how wonderful to have a national anthem about peace and harmony instead of bombs bursting in air. All in all, a great little country :-)

    Cookies look great, too!