Seaweed Cookie Recipe

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Last week, I was making my weekly ice cream deliveries to the vendors at my local market, which was especially necessary since my freezer was super jam-packed and begging for relief. (Which you may have seen when I inadvertently bared-all in my kitchen slide show.) When I stopped by to drop off a pint to my pal Régis, who sells salt at the market, I immediately honed in on a big basket he had heaped full of tiny sacks of bright green seaweed-flecked salt. He opened one, waved it under my nose, then handed it to me to play around with at home.

The first thing I did was add it to some eggs I was scrambling in the center of some fried rice, and it was excellent. Then I thought it would be delicious sprinkled over cold soba, thin Japanese buckwheat noodles. And it was. So I kept going and made a jeon, a big Korean pancake, which was another hit, too.

I’m on a roll!


Then pulled out a batch of cole slaw I’d made the day before, added a few bits of it, and it completely came alive with flavor. The crisp Savoy cabbage, along with the crunch of roasted peanuts, black sesame seeds, and a few slippery bits of avocado played off nicely against the salted seaweed.

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I’m planning to smuggle some Chex back from Texas next month as I think this salt would make an excellent base for some homemade Chex party mix, whose appeal may take some explaining for my Parisian friends. But I’ve been serving these little cookies along with aperitifs before dinner to much acclaim. Although I used seaweed salt, you could use flaky sea salt and add a handful of finely-chopped olives or nuts to the dough, which I imagine would be pretty terrific as a pre-dinner bite as well.

Seaweed Cookies, or Petites Galettes au fleur de sel aux algues
About 70 little cookies

If you don’t use seaweed salt, use 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, adding it at the end with the flour. If you want to make your own seaweed salt, chop a mix of dried kelp, dulce, and toasted nori until relatively fine. (You can find them at natural foods stores and Asian markets.) Afterwards, mix or grind it with flaky sea salt in equal proportions.

But if seaweed’s not your thing, feel free to play around with other naturally-flavored salts. Cinnamon and spicy red pepper both sound good to me.

  • 6 tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon fleur de sel aux algues, plus additional for sprinkling the cookies
  • 9 tablespoons (110g) powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (155g) flour

1. Mix the butter and fleur de sel aux algues together until smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar, then the egg yolk.

2. If using an electric mixer, scrape down the sides, then add the olive oil and flour until smooth.

3. On the counter top, roll the dough into two logs, each about 8-inch (20 cm) long. Wrap each in plastic and chill until firm enough to slice, about 1 hour.

4. To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 300F (150C). Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper then slice the cookies on the scant side of ¼-inch (½cm) thick. Place them evenly-spaced on the prepared baking sheet.

5. Sprinkle a couple of grains of seaweed salt over the top of each cookie (mine was pretty coarse so I crushed it a bit first), then bake for 12-14 minutes, or until slightly-firm. Cool before serving.

Storage: The cookies are best the day they’re made, but can be stored overnight in an airtight container. The dough can be chilled for up to 5 days, or frozen for 2 months.

More on Salt:

Fleur de sel de Guérande

Fleur de sel (Amazon)

Sea salt guide

Which Salt is Best? (Slate)

36 comments

  • Most intriguing:) But the cookies look really pretty with those black and green flecks, so who knows:)

  • Fabulous … puts me in mind of salted caramels, another brilliant sweet/salt combination

    Joanna

  • Fascinating…and kinda topical, too, almost…seaweed is a traditional staple Irish food, only a wee bit late for St Paddy’s!

  • oooh! I really really want to try these! I love sweet and salty things, and I love surprising desserts!

  • Pille: Your ‘dark’ seaweed comment makes me think these cookies would be good packed with a lot of black pepper in place of the seaweed salt. Thanks for the inspiration!

    bic: I haven’t tried serving these for dessert, but don’t see any reason why not.

    Sara: I love Chex Mix, but am not fond of all those dubious ingredients in the ‘seasoning salt’. I think this would make an excellent swap.

  • Now that’s a surprising ingredient for cookies! (Did you see Alpineberry’s matcha cookies? That’s another one I wouldn’t have imagined.)

    The pancake sounds especially excellent.

  • Oh! I think that looks like furikake? I’ve made a Chex/Crispix mix with furikake (and butter, oil, sugar, and corn syrup) and it is indeed delicious.

  • This is why I read your wonderful blog! If someone gave me a bag of seaweed flecked salt, not that that is a possiblity here but, suspending reality… I would probably put it on Top Ramen. Your imagination with food is incredible – Cookies. If I could eat a blog….
    Have fun!

  • YUM! In Hawaii, the only kind of chex mix we ate had furikake as the essential ingredient. I bet the seaweed salt will also taste great with popcorn & arare (rice crackers)– another popular hawaii treat with furikake.

  • Is the texture like a shortbread? I’m thrown by the powdered sugar and egg yolk.

    Arizmendi Bakery here in San Francisco makes great black pepper shortbreads once in a while, as well as cardamom shortbreads. They’re really really good with Guinness ice cream! Maybe I’ll have to see how seaweed and Guinness go together.

    Totally different topic: do you ever make ice cream with nut butters, aside from the obvious pistachio paste? I just read about a walnut maple ice cream that sounded amazing, and there’s some definite synchronicity going on because I just picked up some roasted hazelnut butter that is quite tasty, but surprisingly liquid even at fridge temperatures; as ice cream it might not be too firm. I realize now that Nutella is probably only as firm as it is because of the chocolate fats and solids.

  • See, this? This is why I love you. So innovative.

  • Tres interessant! I’ve never seen seaweed salt before which surprises me because here in Toronto we have so many great Asian food stores and specialty salt is so popular here now.

    I recently did a salt tasting with my chef pals and it was really interesting and inspiring. (In fact, I did a couple of articles about it as a result). The most versatile and interesting of the salts I tried was Salish smoked salt sold by Artisan sea salts. Very intense flavor and true smokey goodness! If you sprinkle a little over pork as it’s resting, the effect is divine!

  • Dang it, I was going to make seafood cookies. You beat me to it!

  • Interesting. Would they match with beer?

  • barbara: Am not sure about beer, although if you’re the kind of person that does the salt-lime thing with beer, they might. But I can tell you for sure that they go very well with ros&eacute!

    Dana: I don’t think you’ll find this anywhere else since my friend makes it himself. Asian markets do carry furikake, which is a really terrific condiment.

    Steve: I added an egg yolk to the dough since it was a bit dry and I wanted it to be a bit more golden. I think this cookie would be fantastic with a whole lot of ground black pepper in place of the seaweed salt.

    I do have a recipe for Peanut Butter Ice Cream and Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream in my ice cream book, but I don’t use nut pastes in general (like pistachio paste) since people can’t easily get them. Clotilde made a Nutella Ice Cream, but swapped out a more natural alternative to Nutella.

    (I loved one of the English descriptions on the Jean Hervé site: “We use non-unfattened cocoa…”)

  • I wonder how your salt vendor guy uses it? Those perfect square salt crystals! It is definitely the most beautiful sea salt mixture I’ve ever seen. (And your cole slaw looks pretty gorgeous, too.) I’m going to try to make my own with Celtic sea salt and wakame and dulse. Thank you both for the inspiration!

  • what about making cookies with Bordier’s beurre aux algues?

  • Glad you weren’t joking about the chex mix! Like the way you think.

  • I guess I’ll have to hop a plane to Paris then to buy this salt from your pal. : )

    Thanks for saving me from traisping the Asian markets here in fruitless dismay.

  • Sorry if my post is a bit off topic: I just wanted to thank you for this site! Thanks for sharing great recipes with us and for being so entertaining! Having only discovered your site recently I have only just managed to try the Friendship bars recipe and they are yummy.

    One person in the comments was after an edgeless brownie pan, well… the nearest I can find are these which are great if a bit pricey: http://alansilverwood.co.uk/id21.html (and no I don’t have shares or anything!)

    Thanks again

  • Thank you so much for these great ideas! A friend brought me back a bag of this seaweed salt from France, and outside of sprinkling it on steamed edamame, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. Great!

  • yumMEEE! In Malaysia and Singapore (where I’m from) we have these traditional wafer biscuits called Kuih Kapit, or Love Letters. served over Chinese New Year. They’re the most delicate crispy wafers, folded into quarters for extra crunch and a modern variation includes …. seaweed! Here’s a recipe for kuih kapit, in case you have extra seaweed salt lying around http://kuali.com/recipes/viewrecipe.asp?r=305 :( Cxxx

  • Sounds wonderful.
    What do you think about using gomasio (seaweed/sesame seeds)??
    An aside: I remember when Dean & DeLuca made cracked pepper shortbread when the original store had a coffee bar. The cookies went very well with espresso.

    cheers

  • The cookies look marvellous, I’d not have thought to use the seaweed salt in that manner.

    One correction – ‘jeon’ (전) doesn’t mean pancake but is a generic term meaning ‘battered and fried’. Though the most well-known 전 is the spring onion & seafood variety which is commonly made like a pancake (though the ‘traditional’ method is different) and thus gives rise to the incorrect understanding of the term, there are also 전 that are battered and fried white fish fillets and tenderized pork cutlets which are more in fitting with the actual meaning of the term.

  • Ellie: Thanks! I’d read English translations of it as ‘pajon’, although in the link that I gave to the Korean women, it was titled ‘jeon’. They say Korean is one of the hardest languages to learn—so I’d better stick to English (and a little French, too.)

    btw; Love the Korean html!

    haapi: Am not sure about gomashio, but it’s worth a try. The sesame seeds are kinda too big and too ‘present’ for such a little buttery cookie.

  • I never would have thought I’d say this about seaweed cookies, but those look good!

  • Elizabeth Andoh would be very unhappy with your terminology: sea vegetable cookies!

    What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered. – Emerson.

    For Zen students, a weed is a treasure.
    – Suzuki.

    Oh, hardy flower, disdained as weed,
    Despised for head of feathery seed,
    Your unsung virtues rate a ballad,
    Choice roots for wine, crisp leaves for salad.
    – Betty Gay, Dandelion

  • oh baby. that is some luscious seaweed salt.

  • Hi Elissa: Hmmm, the packet is labeled fleur de sel aux algues, which translated to ‘flower of salt with seaweed’—although he also sells packets of just the green stuff, labeled laitue de la mer, or ‘lettuce of the sea’. I should forward this to Elizabeth and see what she has to say!

    And I think I’d have to agree with Suzuki, weeds can definitely be treasures. The poems are lovely, too.
    : )

  • That salt looks fab – and your description of the coleslaw made me drool! Love the cookies too – I always like recipes that you can fiddle with and change the flavours. Btw, did you ever see my post on our London salt tasting a while back? We had a blast and it’s astonishing how different these gourmet salts can be: http://www.cooksister.com/2006/11/london_food_blo.html

  • They look stunning, so tasty and pretty. I might give these a go using some dulse instead.

  • David,
    You show a KitchenAid mixer in your kitchen. Did you purchase in France and bring from the U.S.? My daughter purchased a property in the Midi-Pyrenees and we are torn between bringing our kitchen electrics or having a garage sale and buying new in France (very pricey option). What do you suggest?
    Thanks!

  • Hi David,
    well done. I like these cookies. The combination of sweet and salty is very good. In fact of the salt it prickels in my mouth, i love it. I´ve made these cookies two times yet. They´re easy to handle and tests delicious. But my probleme is to get dried algae so i used a mix of lemon balm and mint.
    Thanks for this recipe.

  • Hi David,

    Here’s a recipe that uses Crispix cereal

    Syrup:
    1/2 c. butter
    1/2 c. Karo syrup
    1/2 c. sugar
    1/2 c. oil
    12-14 drops tabasco
    2 T. soy sauce

    16 oz. box Crispix cereal
    1 can beer nuts
    1 jar seaweed/ sesame rice seasoning (called nori komi furikake)

    Melt the syrup ingredients over low heat in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Pour the mixture, furikake and beer nuts over the Crispix, stir to coat. Spread evenly over two rimmed baking sheets. Bake 1 hr. in 225 degree oven, mixing every 15 minutes. Spread out to cool.

    I just started reading Perfect Scoop and there are some wonderful flavor combinations that I can’t wait to try. Thank you for the treasure trove!

  • I have just the seaweed without the salt and was wondering what the salt to seaweed ratio would be.

    My friends sells huge containers of the seaweed with sea salt and without and I had opted to purchase the container without.