This recipe makes about 5 to 6 dozen cookies. If you want to make fewer cookies, you can halve the recipe.
You can also make the dough a day ahead. Shape the dough into disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate. When you are ready to make the cookies, let the dough sit on the counter for 30 to 45 minutes to warm up before shaping. The dough is easier to work with when it is closer to room temperature.
Black Sesame Cookie Dough
2/3cup(100g) black sesame seeds (see note 1)
2tablespoons(16g) Dutch-process cocoa powder
1cup(2 sticks/225g) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
Working in 2 batches, grind the sesame seeds in a spice grinder for about 20 to 30 seconds. I use a coffee grinder that I dedicate to grinding spices (see note 2 about cleaning the grinder).
Transfer the ground sesame seeds, cocoa powder, butter cubes, and salt to the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix the ingredients on low until the sesame seeds and cocoa powder are incorporated into the butter, about 30 to 45 seconds. Then, increase the speed to medium-low and mix for 2 minutes.
Sift the flour, sugar, and baking powder directly into the mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients on low again until most of the flour is incorporated. Then, increase the speed gradually to medium-low and mix until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated into the wet ingredients, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Transfer the dough to another bowl and wipe out any dough residue from the mixing bowl.
Almond Cookie Dough
Add the almond flour, butter cubes, and salt to the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix the ingredients on low until the almond flour is incorporated into the butter, about 30 to 45 seconds. Then, increase the speed to medium-low and mix for 2 minutes.
Sift the flour, sugar, and baking soda directly into the mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients on low again until most of the flour is incorporated. Then, increase the speed gradually to medium-low and mix until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated into the wet ingredients, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a bowl.
Prepare the Oven
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Position the oven racks to the upper and lower third positions.
Line several large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Assemble the Cookies
Lightly beat an egg in a small bowl. Add the almonds to the bowl and toss to coat the almonds with the egg. Set it aside.
Prepare the cookie dough to bake 2 dozen cookies at a time. Scoop out 24 pieces each of almond cookie dough and black sesame cookie dough that are about 11g to 12g (about a heaping teaspoon-full). You should end up with 48 small balls of dough total. Roll each piece into small balls that will be about 1-inch in diameter.
Take a piece of the almond dough and a piece of black sesame dough and squeeze them together so that they stick. Roll these 2 pieces of dough together so that you get a giant ball. Try to make sure that the line separating the dough is as straight as possible.
Lightly flatten the dough with the palm of your hand. The cookie will look circular with one semi-circle being the almond cookie base and the other semi-circle the black sesame cookie base.
Use a sharp knife or a bench scraper to cut the dough in half, making the cut perpendicular to the dividing line between the 2 doughs. Refer to the photos or video in the post for reference.
Take one half of the cookie and flip it over. Press the 2 halves together so that they adhere. You should now see that the doughs of the same color are connected diagonally. Transfer the dough to the lined baking sheet and gently flatten the cookie so that it is about 2 inches in diameter.
Continue shaping the cookies, until you fill your baking sheets with cookies. Make sure to leave a 1.5-inch gap between the cookies, as they will spread a little.
Use a fork to remove 24 almonds from the bowl, shaking off any excess egg wash. Top each cookie with an almond.
Bake the Cookies
Bake the cookies for about 12 to 14 minutes, until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly golden. If you are using baking sheets that have a light color (like aluminum baking sheets), add an extra minute or 2.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. The cookies are very soft when they come out of the oven and they will harden as they cool.
Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Continue assembling and baking the cookies until you have baked all the dough.
Store cookies in an airtight container.
I typically use raw black sesame seeds. I like to toast my sesame seeds for 3 minutes on medium heat so that they release more aroma. Then, I’ll let them cool on a plate before transferring them to a coffee grinder.
To clean the grinder after you grind the sesame seeds, add about 2 tablespoons of any rice into the grinder. Grind up the rice and pour out the contents into the trash. Take a slightly damp paper towel or napkin and wipe the inside of the grinder clean. The rice helps to remove the oils and odor inside the grinder. Rinse the lid of the spice grinder.
I don’t usually chill the doughs before shaping the cookies, as I find the doughs are easier to work with when they are softer. If you find the black sesame cookie dough is getting a little too soft, chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before working with it again.