My easy 4 ingredient, no bake recipe for Sesame Seed Candy (Simsemieh) also goes by sesame brittle, crunch or snap and is made in minutes! This Middle Eastern homemade candy is always a hit!
Homemade candies and other sweet treats are popular all over the world, and they make wonderful holiday gifts. Generally, homemade treats are inexpensive to make, or at the least, less expensive than buying them.
Instead of giving traditional gifts this year, consider gifting tins of halva (think of it as a sweet fudge made with tahini), maamoul semolina cookies, some mung cake, this homemade sesame seed brittle or pistachio brittle to the favorite people on your gift list. They'll thank you for it!
Sesame Seed Candy
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, European, Asian
The world is full of deliciously sweet sesame seed treats!
In Greece, the dessert is known as pasteli, and Greeks typically sweeten them with honey rather than sugar syrup. Korean sesame crunch is a popular treat in Asia, where they typically include nuts or dried fruit to the candy.
In Persian cuisine, sesame brittle is usually flavored with saffron, which also gives it a gorgeous orange-yellow color. In Australia, Eastern Europe and the UK, they call the sweet treat sesame snaps. Which brings us to today's recipe that hails from the Middle East... Simsemieh!
Difficulty: Easy 🥄
Sesame snaps are typically made with white sesame seeds and are sweetened with either a simple sugar syrup or honey. Nuts and/or dried fruits are sometimes added, and flavorings can also be used.
This recipe is beyond simple to make! You only need 4 ingredients, or 5, if you want a little extra flavor.
No baking is needed, but hot sugar syrup is involved, so younger kids will need adult supervision.
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Sesame seeds- White, black, or a combination of the two may be used
- White sugar- I haven’t tested the recipe with sugar substitutes, but I suspect that cup for cup sugar substitutes like monk fruit sugar or erythritol should work.
- Orange blossom water- As you might expect, this ingredient gives the sesame snaps a bright citrus flavor. For a different flavor, you could food grade rose water or even a beverage flavor syrup.
- Cinnamon- I like the warmth of ground cinnamon in the brittle but this ingredient is optional.
For additional flavor and texture, add up to a total of ¾ cup of add-ins. If you use more than that, you may have trouble spreading the mixture.
You can add anything you’d like, including nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or other candies like M&Ms.
Chocolate dipped sesame snaps
Does chocolate dipped sesame candy sound good? I assure you, it is absolutely delicious!
For the chocolate fans, I sometimes dip the bars in melted chocolate and zest some orange on top for an over-the-top, decadent treat!
I don’t suggest completely covering the sesame brittle in chocolate, but you can melt some regular dark chocolate and dip one end of the bars into it.
Recipe notes for sesame seed candy
- Please use caution when working with hot sugar.
Boiling sugar does require your undivided attention. If it boils over onto your stove top, it can be cleaned up, but not without a bit of elbow grease.
Of course, it can also cause serious burns if it comes in contact with skin, so please be careful. If kids will be helping, be sure they have close adult supervision. This recipe assembly moves real quick once the sesame seeds and syrup are combined. Be prepared to quickly spread it in the pan.
- Toasting sesame seeds
The recipe card instructions explain how to toast sesame seeds in the oven. Feel free to toast them that way, or for a completely no-bake recipe, you can toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes.
To help the sesame brittle retain its crunchiness, store it in an airtight container at room temperature. It should stay fresh that way for a week or so. You could try freezing the bars for longer storage, but when they thaw the texture will be very soft and chewy.
Sesame Seed Candy (Simsemieh)
- 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon optional
- orange zest for garnish optional
- 8 oz melted chocolate optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 8x8” baking pan with the oil. Set aside.
- Spread the sesame seeds on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes. Pour onto a piece of parchment paper.
- While sesame seeds are toasting, add the sugar and orange blossom water to a heavy saucepan (and cinnamon if using) and cook over moderately high heat until the sugar is melted, being careful not to burn it. Don’t stir until about two thirds of it has melted. Using a heatproof rubber spatula or wooden spoon stir until all sugar is melted, about 6-8 minutes.
- Pick up the sides of the parchment paper and carefully pour the toasted sesame seeds into the melted sugar. Save parchment paper.
- Working quickly stir to mix and IMMEDIATELY pour mixture into oiled pan. Spread evenly with oiled spatula (use a heavy hand).
- Let cool 2 minutes and score into 16 squares with knife dipped in oil. After 2 more minutes flip onto reserved parchment paper and cut completely into squares.
- Serve as is or zest orange on top if desired or dip half of each piece into melted chocolate and serve. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.