This homemade honey sesame seed candy is a popular treat that is so easy to make. Naturally gluten free and dairy-free, this popular sesame candy can be made crunchy or soft. It is not only a healthier candy, but it is perfect for holiday gift-giving.
Although our family enjoys this homemade sesame candy around Hanukkah, this honey sesame candy is thought to originate in the Mediterranean, possibly dated all the way back to ancient Greece.
In Italy, they call this sesame candy Pasteli, and many cultures include it in their holiday celebrations. In Hebrew, it is called Sukariyot Soomsoom, and it is the perfect candy to serve for Hanukkah or Rosh Hashanah.
Pack it in a jar, wrap it up, and gift it to someone you love. They will definitely thank you because this truly is the best sesame seed candy!
Why this recipe is great:
If you haven't tried a candy recipe with sesame seeds, you are in for a treat. This sesame candy can be made into sesame crunch, sesame bars, or keep it on the chewy side. This versatile candy is something easy to make in about 15 minutes, not including cooling time.
For those that like this candy on the softer chewy side, you can use cookie cutters to cut this candy into shapes!
What you need to make these:
- Sesame seeds - I highly recommend getting these on Amazon because they are much cheaper to find in a larger quantity compared to the small jars at the grocery store.
- Honey - any type is great. You don't need to use expensive local honey, just make sure what you choose is 100% honey and has no added corn syrup.
- Dark or light brown sugar - either one works perfectly
- A non-stick cooking spray - I used a coconut oil one, but any light non-flavored spray will work.
Recipe step by step directions:
Step 1: Begin by spraying or coating a casserole dish or baking pan so the candies will not stick. Grab an ungreased, non-stick skillet and the sesame seeds. Cook over medium heat stirring often until the seeds to become lightly browned and aromatic.
Place the seeds into a bowl and allow them to cool.
Step 2: In your skillet add the brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, and ginger over medium heat. Stir this mixture constantly and bring it to boil.
As soon as the mixture comes to a full rolling boil, begin timing. Allow the mixture to cook exactly two minutes in the pan.
Step 3: When the two minutes are over, remove the skillet from the heat, and add the sesame seeds. Stir quickly until they are completely mixed in.
Step 4: Pour the mixture quickly into the pan you sprayed cooking oil in. Use a metal spoon or spatula that has been dipped into cold water to press the candy into the pan so that it is an even, smooth layer. Let the candy cool for 15 minutes, or until it is only lukewarm to the touch.
Step 5: Gently dump the candy out on a cutting board or table with waxed paper covering it. This is the time to make cuts and have some fun. You can cut the candy into small shapes with cookie cutters, or just cut into squares or rectangles.
Step 6: Place the cut pieces of sesame honey candy on wax paper. Make sure there is plenty of space around each piece.
Step 7: Cut the wax paper around the candies. Fold the wax paper over the candy, then twist both ends.
Step 8: Store the sesame candy in an airtight container at room temperature. This recipe will make approximately 64 small pieces of candy.
Expert tips and Recipe FAQ:
- You will want to use a silicone mat for this if you have one. It will prevent sticking and a lot of grief when washing dishes. In a pinch, you can use wax paper but you need to move it off quickly so the wax paper doesn't stick permanently.
- Do not buy your sesame seeds in a bulk container. Bulk bins are a huge risk for cross-contamination with gluten!
- You can make this with regular white sesame seeds or black sesame seeds.
Yes, this pastelli honey sesame candy is vegan.
Sesame seeds are full of fiber and healthy fats. This helps make this sesame candy healthier than regular candy.
This sesame seed candy should last up to 2 weeks in an air-tight container.
More delicious candy recipes:
Honey Sesame Seed Candy
- 2 cups sesame seeds * see note
- ½ cup honey * see note
- ½ cup brown sugar dark or light
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- Spray a cookie sheet or dish with non-stick spray.
- In a non-stick pan, toast your sesame seeds over medium heat
- In a pot, add the honey, brown sugar, and spices. Cook on medium stirring constantly. Allow this mixture to rolling boil and time it for 2 minutes.
- When the two minutes are over, remove the skillet from the heat and add the sesame seeds. Mix well.
- Quickly pour the mixture quickly onto the prepared pan. With a metal spoon or spatula that has been dipped into cold water, press the candy into the pan so that there is an even, smooth layer.
- Let the candy cool for 15 minutes, or until itis only lukewarm to the touch. Carefully turn it onto the cookie sheet and cut it with a knife or small cookie cutters before it hardens too much.
- Lay pieces of the sesame candy on a large piece of wax paper. Cut around each candy allowing room for folding. Fold the wax paper over each piece of candy and twist the edges to close it. This should make roughly 64 pieces of candy.
- You can use white or black sesame seeds. You want them raw so you can freshly toast them for this recipe.
- You can use any honey, there is no need to use expensive honey. Just make sure to use real honey with no corn syrup.
- This candy will keep up to 2 weeks in an air-tight container.
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