Benne cheese wafers

It is wedding season. And I am catering my first wedding reception. I am not a caterer. However, the bride does not care about this small detail. She is a friend of my mother-in-law and Bunny suggested me for the job.

I discovered a valuable tool planning the menu with the bride. It’s called Pinterest and the idea is that you “pin” ideas you find on the internet to virtual boards that others can view. This is how we planned the food long distance. I’d pin ideas to the “June wedding reception” board and the bride would approve or not. Go take a look at the board. It’s a pretty nifty idea.

Of course, I want it to be perfect. A few things I did not consider before accepting the job: A. I live three hours away from the site of the wedding; B. I will have a small, not functional, kitchen at the reception venue; C. The reception is at 5 p.m. and I do not know if the guests will consider the food a per-cursor to supper or just decide that the food is their supper. The bride is somewhat concernd that we will run out of food. I am not. I over-plan everything and I guarantee that she will be toting home bags and bags of shaved ham biscuits and chicken salad in phyllo cups.

Which brings me to benne cheese wafers. The bride is from South Carolina and they love their benne wafers there, sweet or savory. Benne is the Bantu word for sesame seeds, which were brought to America, particularly the coastal South, in the 17th century during the slave trade era. Benne cheese wafers freeze beautifully and travel well. Like three hours to Knoxville.

If you are from the South, you have probably had Benne cheese wafers at numerous christenings, wedding receptions and holiday parties. They are as ubiquitous as the sausage ball. There is nothing healthy about them, but they are totally addictive and are worth every calorie. This recipe is from the Charleston Receipts Repeats cookbook, an essential tool of the proper Southern cook.

Benne Cheese Wafers 

½ pound grated sharp Chedder cheese

¼ pound butter, softened

½ teaspoon salt

Pinch cayenne

1 ¼ cup sifted flour

½ cup benne seeds (sesame seeds), roasted

Cream first four ingredients together. Add the flour and knead. Add the seeds and knead. Form into four or five long thin rolls. Chill in wax paper for several hours or freeze. Slice the rolls into 1/4. Bake at-inch rounds.  350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Keep in tightly covered tin.

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