Oil your pan, spatula, and knife. I prefer olive oil.
Add the lemon juice to your pot, swirling to coat the bottom, then pour the sugar on top, shaking to spread out the sugar. Measure out your baking soda and leave the spoon beside your stove.
Cook the pot over medium heat until the sugar is more than half dissolved. You should see bubbling and possibly some caramelizing around the edges.
Pour in the sesame seeds. Slowly and gently mix to evenly cook and combine everything. Make don’t let it burn! Keep mixing.
When the seeds are toasted and the sugar is all melted and starting to caramelize, stir in the baking soda. Turn the heat to the lowest setting and continue cooking until the mixture is an even caramel color.
Turn off the heat and immediately scrape out as much of the mixture as possible into your pan. Quickly spread it out to the edges of the pan. If you’re using a large half baking pan, aim for a 2-3 mm thickness.
While the mixture is still hot but not too hot to touch, pop it out of the pan and onto your cutting board. Cut into rectangles, squares, or diamonds.
Adding baking soda is optional. Baking soda makes the sesame snaps lighter and richer-tasting, but it changes the color.
Baking soda makes the sugar and lemon juice fizz and air bubbles to the final candy. The bubbles make the sesame seeds snaps less solid and dense, and easier to eat! The baking soda also helps the sugar to caramelize more quickly and evenly.