Lebanese Sesame Seed Candy (Semsemeeyyeh)

“Semsem” is the Lebanese word for sesame. “Tasty” is the English language word for how delicious and addictive the candies are. Eaten everywhere in ancient Greece, this candy has stuck around throughout the Middle East and Asia. It is a special treat that people can’t get enough of.

Lebanese Semsemeeyyeh Sesame Seed Candy

Semsemeeyyeh- Lebanese Sesame Seed Candy

How can just four ingredients and a candy thermometer make something so delicious? Watching the melting sugar so it doesn't burn is the challenging part. Making enough to last once people get a taste is the other challenge.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dessert, Snack, Street Food
Cuisine: Lebanon, Middle Eastern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 24
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Medium bowl
  • Large baking pan lined with parchment paper
  • Medium saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Rolling Pin


  • cup Sesame seeds (raw or toasted)
  • ½ cup Brown sugar
  • ½ cup Honey oney
  • 1 tsp Fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup Peanuts (optional. Vietnamese version, or pistachios)


  • Toast Seeds – If using toasted seeds, briefly toast them in a wide frying pan over low heat until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. If using raw seeds, toast them over low heat until light brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes. In either case, be sure not to burn them or they'll need to be tossed out.
    Transfer toasted sesame seed to a bowl to cool. If using, add peanuts or shelled pistachios now.
  • Make Candy – Add sugar and honey to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then and add lemon juice and stir to combine. After about 5 minutes, the mixture will bubble-up and frothy. Stir frequently and using a candy thermometer, wait until it registers 225°F (107°C).
  • Prepare Pan – Grease 2 equal pieces of parchment paper with an oil spray or brush sesame oil. Place one parchment into the baking pan and keep the second one nearby, greased side up.
  • Make Sesame Seed Candy – Remove saucepan from heat and slowly pour candy mixture over the sesame seeds while gently combining everything with a wooden spoon. Pour mixture on top of the greased parchment paper-lined baking pan and flatten it down with the back of a spoon.
    Cover the seeds with the other parchment paper, greased side down. With a rolling pin, flatten the sesame candy as much as possible and even it out.
    Remove the top paper and trim the rough outside edges with a sharp knife. Cut the candy sheet into squares or rectangles and keep the sesame bars covered in the paper in a tightly sealed container. They will keep for a few weeks at room temperature.


Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 2mg

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