suckup WIN: benne wafers

In Uncategorized on June 12, 2010 at 11:18 pm


it’s officially summer.

what does that call for?

thanksgiving time, people! it’s time

to give thanks.

to my teachers, in particular.

okay, i admit it, i don’t feel particularly

gratuitous and grateful and

“oh, you were a wonderful teacher who

inspired me to become the greatest

writer/mathematician/historian ever!”

but let’s be honest here.

i am a suckup.

i like to bake.

i like to look for excuses for baking.

so what better excuse to pull out some

fancy-pants recipe i spotted a couple weeks ago?

granted, it’s not that fancy-pants

but it’s fancy-pantsier than the usual…

y’know. oreo blondie.

banana muffin.

zebra cupcake.

(notice that biscotti aren’t on that list.

i think i’m going to lay off biscotti for a while.)

i used this recipe for benne wafers

from she wears many hats.

now… i have to admit, it wasn’t the best in the world.

because the first time i made them,

i made the batter on monday night and

had no time to bake them.

i had tuesday off school, but we went to the expo.

(which i think sucks, by the way. gosh.)

and “i decided” to bake them up late that night.

why the quotation marks in “i decided”?

well, i decided, but i didn’t bake them.

i came upstairs and became lazy and kept putting it off

so my mother, in all her good intentions,

rationed out the batter into 35 perfect circular drops

and stuck it in the oven.

she did notice, however, that the batter was very, very


that’s right, kids.

it spread. and covered the entire pan.

i was not a happy camper, for several reasons.

  • they spread. did i mention that?
  • when i dug them up from the pan, the bottom of the pan was slick with oil. or melted butter.
  • i had to cut them into ugly rectangular shapes.
  • they weren’t wafers, they were pieces of sticky, greasy, floppy… lace cookies.
  • they were tasty, though. perhaps too tasty, because once i decided i couldn’t present them to my teachers, i proceeded to binge on them. it’s been happening a bit more often lately, except with one difference: i can’t seem to find the energy to care and obsess over binging anymore. so i ate. until my tummy ached. damn.

F is for fail.

F is also for flop.

so the next day, the wednesday, i remade them.

but with a TON of modifications.

  • the recipe called for 6 tbsp of butter. therefore, i had 2 tbsp left. that’s right, kids. i thirded the butter. is that even a word? thirded?
  • my mother said that the recipes for “lace cookies” called for more egg whites than egg yolks. so i beat in an extra egg white for moisture.
  • it turned out a little too moist, so i added lots of flour to even it out. it was probably close to 1/4 to 1/3 cups extra of flour.
  • i reduced the sugar. i can’t remember by how much, but again it was at the insistence of my mother.

i hoped, and prayed, that it would work.

i tested out a first batch, which i ended up

burning a little.

have i mentioned before that my oven is sucky?

only the top flame works.

therefore, i often get overcooked tops,

and undercooked bottoms.

but no fear! with the advice of my wise mother,

(who, by the way, used to bake a lot, which explains

her wiseness when it comes to cooking.)

i heated up the second sheet pan in the oven so that

there would be some residual heat from the pan that

cooked the cookies from the bottom, and

placed the sheet at the lower third of the oven.

if i felt that the cookies weren’t browning enough,

i moved the rack up.

it worked like a charm, if i do say so myself.

well… maybe i  could have let it brown

just a little more on top?

or flipped it over, and baked it upside down?

but never mind. i was about the package them anyway.

i had to choose between these four adorable

packaging options.

purchased: from japan.

oh. how i love japan and how gimmicky and cutesy they get.

i chose this one:

(i forgot to take a picture of them actually packaged up.

they were cute. maybe too much so.

let’s leave it at that.)

now today, was a good, but lazy day.

i stayed at home for all but maybe 10 minutes.

it felt nice.

i thought that summer holiday would mean

less baking/cooking, but guess what i made today?

i made hummus.

and cupcakes!

because my sister was craving them.

vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing.

sadly, my cupcake attempt was pretty half-assed.

i’ll post about them tomorrow, because

it is 2.45am over here in El Chino, and

i have to get up early tomorrow in 6 hours.

gosh. i thought that summer holiday would mean

more sleep. (i actually took a nap today.)

i should make sleep a priority for now…

plus all that summer camp stuff.

but i’m getting off topic.

here is the recipe: (modifications in red)

Benne Wafer Recipe (makes about 50, approximately 2″ wafers) (actually, they made about half that amount)

recipe from She Wears Many Hats

adapted from Charleston Receipts


  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour + 1/4 to 1/3 cup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons sesame seeds


– In a sauté pan or skillet, toast sesame seeds over medium heat until brown. Stir occasionally to avoid scorching. Let cool.

– In a mixing bowl, cream the brown sugar and butter together.

– Add the beaten egg to the sugar/butter mixture, and combine well.

– Next, sift the flour, salt and baking powder together, add it to the mix and combine until just smooth.

– Finally add the vanilla and toasted sesame seeds and mix well.

– On a foil, parchment or silicon baking mat lined baking sheet, drop teaspoons of batter, spaced apart to allow for spreading.

– Bake in a 375°F oven for approximately 12-13 minutes, until browned.

– Let cool for about a minute on baking sheet before removing to cool on rack.


How would you modify this recipe further? I don’t know if it was imprecise measuring on my part or just a bad recipe, but… I honestly think that mine were better. Sorry 😦

Also, I’m thinking about making a recipe page. But only if you found my recipes useful… I mean, I modify them crazily all the time, and I’m not a great source for recipes… but it was mighty hard trying to find those old posts with the cryptic titles I have.

Do you find my cryptic titles annoying?? I do, actually. Next time I’ll write a title DIRECTLY relevant to my post. (Or maybe I’ll just do that for recipe posts. I’m changing the title of this post right now.)

  1. Aww! thank you for the sweet comment 🙂
    I had a total recipe fail today too. I had planned on posting about whole wheat pumpkin muffins and they came out so wrong! But no big deal! Ill just have to try try again soon. But then I didnt have a recipe to post, and I try to do one every day.. merh!

    • I love that you have recipes everyday… is it hard thinking about recipes everyday, though? No big deal is right… no need to be perfect all the time 😉 Just try again! 😀


      • So I ended up remaking them and they turned out great! Thats todays post 🙂
        And yah, recipes every day is a bit hard so I have changed my mind. I was thinking about it and if I kept it up, that would be 365 recipes in a year! No way! So Im just gonna shoot for as often as I can and not worry about it. I am thinking that good replacement for when I dont have one (which is going to happen a lot in the next few weeks because I am moving out of this house and couch surfing at friends houses for a few weeks) would be to write about a health topic. Like cancer prevention, omega 3s, etc etc. Das da plan.

  2. Wow. You should start gathering all your recipes and start up a little bakery some time! I’ll definitely go China to visit you and patronise your shop! Like seriously hun! Even though the wafers didn’t turn out so good first time, they turned out looking gorgeous in the end. And I have to tell you that I truly admire your perseverance. I know that if I were in your position, I’d have given up the minute they didn’t look ‘perfect’ so well done girlie! And enjoy the summer holidays!!!


  3. Aww those packaging stuff are adorable! Japan makes the cutest things!

    Wow I was surprised you cut out 2/3 of the butter! I probably wouldn’t recommend cutting out that much butter the next time, as it would result in dryer cookies/muffins. And I think you should totally start a recipe page! You’ve baked some pretty decent stuff (like that Oreo blondie!).

    • I wasn’t THAT worried because the original recipe really was incredibly over-greasy. I think that it was probably twice the amount of grease that was “proper”… the cookies turned out with sort of a cakey texture, and I have to admit, it was a tad dry. I like experimenting with proportions and seeing their effects; I think intuitiveness is a large part of being a good baker/cook! 😀

      o___O I wonder why everyone is raving about the Oreo blondie? Just plonk Oreos on blondies! 😛


  4. I like your determination with this recipe. I would have started yelling/crying after the first batch. I’m a new cook, though…so that happens.

    • I almost cried a little, but my mom was there and she would have been all “See see see, crying again over such a small thing!” So I got over it… and just tried again. Oh well, I guess beginner cooks have to develop this ability to let go of perfectionism… 😉


  5. Wei Wei,
    You always make the best looking baked goods, and the packaging is adorable. I hope your Summer is going great so far, and stress-Free.

    • These looked even better on the blog I got them from! I should have let them brown a little more, and I agree, the packaging is too cute 😉 But that’s not my fault! 😀

      I hope you guys are having a great summer, too! Jackson Hole looked like tons of fun 🙂


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