Tag Archives: black sesame

Black Sesame Sunshine Brownies

I’d like to file a complaint.

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Somebody has stolen all of the sunshine.

If you’re from a place where spring actually feels like spring, and summer looks like–well, like it’s supposed to, this is saying a lot.

I like my sunshine.

Mine. No touchie.

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Having just flown back from a truly EPIC 4-day trip to St. Louis and Chicago, I’ve learned two things:

Thing #1: It’s not spring-like everywhere in the spring.

Cue multiple photos of me wearing 2 thick sweaters, 2 heavy coats, 2 pairs of gloves, knee-high socks, and boots the size of an overgrown sea elephant while waddling (much like a sea elephant) around the entire city trying to peek out at touristy attractions like the Bean without disturbing my puffy scarf and beanie.

Yes, the Chicagoans were visibly laughing as they passed by in their t-shirts. I would’ve done something about it, too…if waddling over to punch them in all my ridiculous layers didn’t make it look like I was just getting ready to give them a big bear hug or something.

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Thing #2: As much as I told myself I wouldn’t be a pansy and say it’s “freezing cold” anymore when it’s, y’know, notThe lack of sunshine around here is killing me.

On my last day in St. Louis, it had warmed up to the point that I was eating renowned frozen custard from Ted Drewes wearing a tank top and a light jacket.

Today, I had to wear a thick jacket. Nuh-uh. Uncalled for, Cali!

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So that’s what these brownies are for. Some people like to do rain dances. Since it’s been a dark, cloudy, overcast, likely-to-pour day over here, though, I huddled up inside with my books and made these gorgeously dark black sesame brownies and decided to throw in a bit of sunshine.

Then do a little dance. The sunshine brownie dance.  Because they’re really, really yummy and super bright! You’ll love the smoky (and healthy!) taste of black sesame topped with the tangy bright taste of lemon curd sunshine.

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What’s your favorite kind of weather or date? :) 

I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.

I’d love to hear what you’re thinking! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read/comment/follow. I hope you’re enjoying the weather and/or the indoors, wherever you’re at!


I was Featured on Sweet 2 Eat Baking

Black Sesame Sunshine Brownies
Yield: 1 9×9-inch baking pan
Adapted from Pig Pig’s Corner
  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 5/8 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 7/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds (optional, for garnish)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, combine melted butter and black sesame seeds. Grind until it turns into a fine or slightly gritty paste.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sesame paste, sugar, and soy sauce. Fry it for 2-3 minutes, or until the black sesame becomes smoky and fragrant. (The oils will start to separate when it’s ready–be sure not to overfry, otherwise you’ll burn your sesame!) Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Add cooled sesame mixture to a large mixing bowl. Mix in eggs one by one.
  5. Gently fold in flour until just incorporated.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle black sesame seeds on top. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Top with white sesame seeds and serve with a dollop of lemon curd sunshine! (Recipe follows.)

Lemon Curd Sunshine


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 3 lemons, zested
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted


  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients, then heat in microwave at 1-minute intervals for approximately 4-5 minutes total, stirring between each interval. Your curd will be ready when it’s thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from microwave (straining out any excess egg whites as necessary through a mesh strainer) and allow to cool slightly before serving. Sunshine, order’s up! 


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars, Brownies & Chocolates

Black Sesame Tahini Hummus

“He bent down and pulled his wand out of the troll’s nose. It was covered in what looked like lumpy grey glue.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to funny-looking foods at my dinner table, I have a hard time keeping my imagination in check.

So when I peeked into my fridge this afternoon and noticed the woeful lack of Trader Joe’s Mediterranean hummus inside, and when I made up my mind right there that I was going to whip up my own batch of hummus with what I had on hand–black sesame seeds for tahini instead of regular white ones–you don’t need a vivid imagination like mine to imagine what happened next.

Flour Power: Making your own hummus, nut butter, or cookie butter from scratch helps you and your family avoid all those pesky preservatives lining your local store shelves. Plus, it’s a cinch! All you need are a few key ingredients, a food processor, and an active sense of adventure!

You can probably see where this discussion is headed. If you’re faint of stomach (don’t worry, I won’t go into anything actually explicit!), you might want to consider jumping to the recipe and forgetting the rest of this post ever happened. Yeah?

Still with me? Okay, here it is…

Troll bogeys.

Okay, there. I said it.

Looking at this black sesame tahini hummus, that was the first thought that popped into my mind.

It’s delicious troll bogeys, though! And the hummus doesn’t actually look like a grey lump of glue–it actually looks, feels, and tastes like your average hummus…only gray.

You can eat it with anything you like–fruit, veggies, cookie butter (okay, maybe not cookie butter, but I do have a great granola recipe to share with you guys soon that you can use it in!). It’s really just your average Joe hummus, except the roasted black sesame tahini adds a nice nutty kick to the flavor. This is what happens when your pocketbook is on a starvation regimen light diet and you can only afford to scour the Asian markets once in a blue moon and have to buy your black sesame seeds in bulk.

Good things! Good things like this hummus happen.

And you thought the life of a poor, underfunded grad student with crazy teaching hours and next to no livable resources was tough. Pffffft.

Funflour Fact #2: Avast ye, mateys! Did you know September 19th is International Talk like a Pirate Day? Arrr! Grab yer parrots and get them swash-buckling scallywags, landlubbers! (And fer more pirate talk, be scuttling on over to this fun website!

What kind of grad students do you know?

We’re as happy as larks.

Eating raw food.

Not because it’s “healthy” or “cleansing,” but because that’s what we can do. It’s about all we can do, really. Did I mention that the zoo keepers at the zoo where I worked for five years brought monkey chow home to eat for breakfast and lunch because they couldn’t afford to pay tuition while keeping? Thank goodness I haven’t been reduced to that yet. I would never do something that desperate, ever.

That’s probably just because the grad department doesn’t have its own set of in-residence monkeys, though. Otherwise, I’d be all over that chow.

Just kidding! I have this delicious hummus sitting in my fridge, and you should clear out a space out for it in yours, too!

What are some weird food associations that you make?

Black Sesame Tahini Hummus
Yield: Approximately 1.5 cups
  • 1/3 cup black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice, adjusted to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Pinch of pepper
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread black sesame seeds on a foil-lined baking sheet and place in preheated oven. Toast for 7-9 minutes, until fragrant. (Note: Be careful–black sesame seeds burn easily! Their dark color makes it difficult to tell by any sense other than smell, so make sure you check on them frequently.) Remove from oven and place in food processor.
  2. Add oil to food processor and secure lid. Process for 3-5 minutes, until mixture reaches a liquid consistency. Now that you have your tahini ready, add the remaining ingredients (starting with 3 tablespoons lemon juice) and process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. At this stage, you can add additional lemon juice and/or oil as necessary to reach desired taste and consistency.
  3. Serve with your favorite Halloween fare (remember the trolls!) or just whatever food strikes your fancy, including raw veggies and fruit.


Filed under Dips/Spreads