Sesame Seeds – Sesame seeds may be the oldest condiment known to man. They have a high oil content and are the main ingredient in tahini. You can buy them toasted or untoasted. We prefer to buy them toasted for baking purposes because they are drier and will stick to what you are baking more easily. To toast your own sesame seeds, use a small nonstick pan over medium-low heat and spread sesame seeds in an even layer in the pan. Stir them every 30 seconds and continue to toast them until they are golden brown, about 4 minutes.
Honey – We love experimenting with different flavors of honey. You can really alter the flavor of a dish by using a bold-flavored honey. You can brush Sesame Financiers with a chestnut honey, buckwheat honey, or pine honey if you can find it. Go with something more floral on the Persian Love Cake; our favorites are linden flower honey and sunflower honey. For these Sesame Cashew Bars, we use a raw honey from Champlain Valley Apiaries in Vermont, because we prefer something thick to create the caramel layer. Don’t be afraid to experiment or splurge on a special jar of honey, or start a honey collection of your own.