Cookies are a small, flat, baked treat usually containing fat, fibre, egg and sugar. In most English-speaking countries outside North America, the common word for this is biscuit. In many regions, both terms are used.
Cookie consumption is on the increase worldwide due to factors such as an increase in one-person households and working mothers. It is ranked highest among primary school-aged children who obtain their meal and refreshment from this baked snack.
WHEAT (Triticum aestivum)
Flour is the most important staple food crop for more than one-third of the world’s population and contributes more calories and proteins to the world’s diet than many other kinds of cereal. Preparation of cookies from wheat flour is the conventional practice. In tropical countries, however, wheat production is limited and importation of wheat flour to meet local demand is a necessity.
Nowadays, the use of composite flour in which flour from locally grown crops replaces a portion of wheat flour is common in many developing countries to meet the high demand for functional food with health benefits as well as decreasing the demand for imported wheat and stimulating production.
Sesame seed is a tiny, oil-rich seed that grows in pods on the sesamum indicum plant. Sesame is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum, also called benne. Numerous wild relatives occur in Africa and a smaller number in India.
It is widely naturalised in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds, which grow in pods. Sesame seeds have an average of twice as much protein as cereals by percentage and usually contain a more balanced profile of essential amino acids.
HEALTH AND NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF COOKIES MADE FROM WHEAT & SESAME COMPOSITE FLOUR.
1. Since sesame has many potential health benefits and has been used in folk medicine for thousands of years, cookies made from sesame flour may protect against heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
2. It also helps burn belly fat and lose weight, the healthy way. Sesame seed, when incorporated with wheat flour, comes with a lot of nutrients including protein, fibre, iron, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients help you lose weight, promote healthy skin and hair, flush out toxins, balance the hormones, support cardiovascular health, and help cut the bulge.
3. Like other cookies that may increase the fat level and also increase the chances of having high blood pressure, cookies made with sesame contain two unique compounds, sesamin and sesamolin. These are powerful ligans present in sesame that have been proved to lower cholesterol, prevent high blood pressure and help with weight loss.
4. Cookies are made from mostly carbohydrates in the form of sugar and flour. Flour is the very thing that binds a cookie together and gives it its shape and texture, therefore it is essential in making a cookie.
There is nothing wrong with eating carbohydrates, but too much of it can put a person at risk of obesity and diabetes too. The body burns carbohydrates to run itself, but the excess is stored as fat which may build up over time. That is why it is advisable to introduce composite flour in making cookies to reduce and balance the scale.
5. With butter in a cookie, fats are inevitable. Traditional recipes call for lard or shortening, but these days, butter is used in its place. Too much fat is arguably bad for the body and causes weight problems and a buildup of fatty acids as the body tries to break down the fat that is ingested.
Homemade cookies can opt for the healthier choice of using vegetable oil that has a higher level of unsaturated fats and therefore is less prone to causing heart problems and obesity.
6. Fibre can form part of a cookie if it comes in the form of dried fruit or nuts. More fibre is beneficial for the body as it helps to shift bowels, preventing constipation that can result in colon cancer over a prolonged period. However, it is better to add larger chunks of fruit, so that the fibre strands are not broken up and are therefore more effective in helping the digestion process.
PREPARATION OF WHEAT AND SESAME SEED FLOUR AND MAKING THE COOKIES.
Well, since wheat flour is readily available all over the world, let’s only see how we can mix this flour in the right proportion and ratio, since wheat is the major and key component of any pastries or snacks. Like we said earlier, wheat contains a lot of gluten which binds the dough together, so the ratio of wheat to sesame flour should be 70:30.
So, let’s move on to see the quick steps involved in making the cookies…
Soft Margerine (85 grams)
Golden Castor Sugar (60 grams)
Light Muscovado Sugar (60 grams)
Cinnamon (1 heaped teaspoon)
Self Raising Flour (125 grams)
Sesame Flour (50 grams)
Bicarbonate of Soda (half teaspoon)
Sultanas (100 grams)
Pecan Nut Halves (one half on top of each cookie)
1. Sieve the Self Raising Flour, Sesame Flour and Bicarbonate of Soda into a mixing bowl;
2. Add all the other ingredients, except for the Pecan Nuts. Mix well;
3. Place teaspoon-size dollops of the mixture onto a greased baking sheet;
4. Put half a Pecan Nut onto each cookie;
5. Bake on middle shelf of the oven for 12-15 minutes until golden brown in colour;
6. Leave to cool on a cooling rack, or eat warm if you can’t resist.
7. When completely cool, pack the cookies in a low-density polyethylene bag and keep in a plastic container.
It is preferable to make cookies with composite flours where we can modify the nutritional content for the best nutritional value. However, for those who cannot afford the time to make it, try to cut down on the number of cookies you consume every day, or choose to eat cookies from stores with lower sugar and fat content.
You may also like to read our recent article; How To Produce Homemade Flakes With Composite Flour Of Wheat & Soybeans