Black sesame shortbread cookies iced with naturally colored pink hibiscus glaze. Great with a cup of coffee or tea!
I normally associate shortbread cookies with afternoon tea. I think of ladies in pastel colored clothes daintily sipping on tea with their pinkies in the air.
These black sesame shortbread cookies with hibiscus glaze would definitely not be invited to that kind of event.
Pink Black Sesame Shortbread Cookies
These are the rebellious punk shortbread cookies that belong to a break-all-the-rules kind of tea party. Perhaps like an Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter’s tea party!
These cookies are all natural! No dyes or artificial food coloring needed to achieve these black-grey cookies and hot pink glaze.
What does black sesame taste like?
Black sesame is very popular in Asian desserts. It has a very nutty flavor. Black sesame can be likened to peanut butter in taste, only toastier.
Black sesame flour (or powder) is available at Asian supermarkets. Big Asian supermarkets with nationwide locations include: 99 Ranch Market (Chinese), H Mart (Korean), and Seafood City (Filipino).
The black sesame products are usually stocked along with the rice flours and tapioca starches. It may also be alongside teas and powdered drink mixes.
Be careful when purchasing black sesame powder. Some versions are mixed with sugar, barley, or rice to make drinks or soups. Look for 100% black sesame in the ingredients list.
What else can you make with black sesame?
Here are a few favorite recipes using black sesame:
- Matcha black sesame rolls with tangerine glaze
- Black sesame cake with black sesame buttercream (perfect for Halloween!)
- Raspberry black sesame cake
Black sesame is normally paired with red bean or matcha (green tea). But rather than do the expected, I wanted to try something really different. Black sesame with hibiscus is a pairing I’ve never heard of.
Black Sesame and Hibiscus Pairing
I was skeptical at first, but the pair actually plays surprisingly well together. The nutty black sesame is balanced with the slightly tart hibiscus glaze.
The exciting and unusual flavor combo leaves you wanting more and more.
All natural pink glaze using hibiscus flower
There are no artificial colors in this cookie. It’s ALL NATURAL! Once baked, the black sesame shortbread turns an even gray color.
The electric pink glaze takes its tones from the super red color of the dried hibiscus flower.
Hibiscus flowers are popularly used to make tea- like this cold brew hibiscus tea, aka agua de jamaica.
I purchase my dried hibiscus flowers in bulk at a local Latin supermarket. You should be able to find it at well stocked supermarkets in the spice section. If not, try the tea section where hibiscus is sold in portioned tea bags.
At first, I tried to make these cookies look prim and proper. Dip one side of the cookie in the hibiscus glaze and then sprinkle a little black sesame on top. That got boring really fast.
It’s much more fun and exciting splattering and drizzling the cookies in a sort of Jackson Pollock kind of matter. It’s also quite stress relieving and relaxing to go a bit wild sometimes.
Black Sesame Shortbread with Hibiscus Glaze
Black Sesame Shortbread:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup black sesame flour *
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup coconut oil *
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 Tablespoon dried hibiscus flowers
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- Whisk together flour, black sesame flour, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and coconut oil. Once smooth, add sugar and powdered sugar.
- Add dry mixture and mix on slow speed. Add egg yolks one at a time and mix until dough comes together.
- Scoop dough out of a bowl, divide into two equal parts and flatten gently into two rectangles. Wrap in plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes (up to overnight).
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove shortbread dough from the fridge. If dough is too cold, allow to warm up slightly until dough is pliable. Roll out dough to a thickness of about ½-inch. If dough is too cold and starts to crumble while you roll, simply warm up the dough with your hands and press it into a ball. Once dough is pliable, re-roll. Use a lightly floured fluted 2-inch round cookie cutter to stamp out cookies. Ball up any scraps and re-roll as necessary.
- Place cookies on prepared baking sheet at least 1-inch in apart. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
- Hibiscus Glaze: Bring water to a boil. Add dried hibiscus flowers. Allow to steep for 5-8 minutes until tea is super dark red. Place sifted powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add 3 Tbsp of hibiscus tea to powdered sugar. Stir until mixture is smooth. Dip cookies into hibiscus glaze or drizzle glaze over cookies and top with black sesame seeds.
- Black sesame flour (also labeled black sesame powder or ground black sesame) is available at Asian supermarkets. It is stocked alongside the rice flours and tapioca starches.
- Black sesame tastes very nutty, almost like peanut butter, but toastier in flavor.
- Coconut oil is available in two options: refined and unrefined (virgin). Refined coconut oil has a neutral flavor. Unrefined (virgin) coconut oil will have a coconut flavor. I have tested the recipe using both. Alternatively, you may substitute for additional butter if you don’t want to use coconut oil.
- Coconut oil gives the shortbread a nice soft, crumbly texture. It adds fat to the cookie without adding additional moisture/water the way butter would.
- Keep leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.