Za’atar Wedding Cookies

Time 45 minutes
Yields Makes about 3 dozen cookies
Za’atar Wedding Cookies
(Leslie Grow / For The Times)

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.


In a large bowl, combine one-fourth cup powdered sugar, the butter, sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons za’atar, the salt and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until whipped and light, about 3 minutes (see Baker’s Note). Add the flour and mix on low speed until just combined.


Using a half-ounce ice cream scoop or 1 tablespoon, portion the dough and roll each portion into a smooth ball before arranging 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.


Bake, rotating the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through, until the cookies are lightly browned on the bottom and set, about 25 minutes.


While the cookies bake, whisk together the remaining 2 cups powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons za’atar in a large bowl. Immediately after the cookies come out of the oven, work in batches to gently toss them in the za’atar sugar until completely coated. Return them to the baking sheets and let cool completely.


Once all the cookies are cooled, toss them again in the za’atar sugar until completely coated. When serving, arrange the cookies on a plate and sprinkle with more za’atar, if you like.

When measuring flour or powdered sugar, spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. Scooping compacts the ingredients, resulting in dry baked goods. And if using a stand mixer, use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl and the paddle after beating the butter and sugar together and after the dough is mixed to ensure the ingredients are evenly mixed throughout. Za’atar is commonly available in grocery stores, so check your local market before going online. If you live in L.A., stop by Botanica in Silver Lake to buy its za’atar, which is my favorite blend for these cookies. Otherwise, order it online from La Boîte, one of the best spice retailers in the country.
Make Ahead:
The cookies can be stored, covered with any leftover za’atar sugar, in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Ben Mims is the cooking columnist for the Los Angeles Times. He has written three cookbooks and has worked as a food editor and recipe developer for several food media publications, such as Lucky Peach, Food & Wine, Saveur, Food Network and Buzzfeed/Tasty.
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