If you want to make great sesame cookies, try these delicious crescents. 

Mezzelune Ai Semi Di Sesamo

Sicilian Sesame Crescent Cookies
Course Italian Cookies
Cuisine Italian
Servings 48 Cookies


Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Water

Cookie Dough

  • 1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 tbsp Milk or Half and Half
  • 1 Large Egg Yolk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 2/3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Fiori di Sicilia (You can buy on Amazon)
  • 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/8 tsp Table Salt
  • 1 1/4 Cups Butter, softened, 20 tbsp, cut into ~15 pieces


  • 1/2 Cup Sesame Seeds Not Toasted
  • 1/4 Cup Vanilla Sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line 4 rimmed half sheet pans with parchment paper.
  • In a microwave save bowl, whisk together the sugar and water.
  • Microwave for 1 minute or until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool slightly.

Making the Dough

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the light brown sugar, egg and yolk, milk, vanilla extract and fiori di Sicilia.
  • Whisk by hand until frothy. Set aside.
  • With a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on low speed, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • On medium low speed gradually add the butter pieces; mix until the mixture resembles coarse meal; 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the egg mixture and mix on medium speed just until the dough just comes together; about 1 minute. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a few tablespoons of flour.
  • The dough should not stick to your fingers when pinched. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead into a ball.
  • This dough is best not refrigerated but formed and baked immediately. A cool room and surface makes these cookies easier to form.

Form the Cookies

  • With floured hands break off a handful of dough and roll into a 3/4″ rope.
  • Cut the rope into 4″ lengths. Dip one side of the rope first in the sugar syrup and then in the sesame seed/vanilla sugar.
  • Place the rope on the cookie sheet and push into a crescent. Place 12 to each cookie sheet.
  • Bake 15-18 minutes or until completely golden brown.
  • Reuse the parchment lined cookie sheets to repeat.
  • Let cool on the cookie sheet for 15 minutes and then store in a covered cookie jar.


  • This cookie keeps nicely for a week or two. I like to store 8 to a twist tied cellophane bag and then in a cookie jar to keep them the freshest. Tie with a festive ribbon and give to your friends and family as gifts from your kitchen.
Keyword Mezzelune Ai Semi Di Sesamo, Sicilian Sesame Crescent Cookies
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