I can't recall circumstances. I can't recall specific instances. What I can recall are little crinkly paper-wrapped bites of sesame honey treats. My mom always had them around when I was very young. So young that I think it was before my brother and sisters even take up residence in my memories (I'm a good deal older than them). The soft sticky chew. The feel of my teeth slicing through those dense, sweet seeds. The comforting blanket of seeds so tiny and grassy and coated in honey. This is what they were. Pastelli by another name.
Those little bites from my childhood didn't have pistachios in them. But I like the addition. It adds color without changing the flavor. These are a sweet treat. In so many ways.
Sesame and Pistachio Snacks (Pastelli)
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: snack dessert honey nuts sesame seeds candy Greek
Ingredients (20-30 "bites")
- ¾ c. + 2 tsp. sesame seeds
- ⅓ c. shelled pistachios, broken in half
- ¼ c. sugar
- ¼ c. honey
Toast sesame seeds and pistachios in a nonstick skillet over low heat until lightly golden and fragrant. Pour onto a plate or bowl and set aside.
Return skillet to heat and add sugar. Cook, without stirring, until it melts and becomes lightly golden. Carefully add honey to the skillet. Using a heatproof rubber scraper/spatula, stir the sesame seeds and pistachios quickly into the sugar/honey mixture. It should be thick and sticky.
Pour/scrape the mixture out onto a flat, heat-proof surface (parchment lined tray, silpat, marble slab) and flatten a bit with the back of the spatula or a spoon. Use your hands dipped in cold water to form a rectangular shape that is about 6" x 7" and ¼" thick.
Let sit for a few minutes to begin to set up, then cut into small, bite-sized squares or rectangles. Don't wait too long, or it will become hard to cut.
These little snacks are reminiscent of the chewy sesame honey sticks that my mom always ate when I was just a girl. They taste and feel just as I remember them - of earthy sesame and rich honey.
adapted from Food From Many Greek Kitchens
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IHCC theme: Getting a little Nutty ...or Seedy!