I thought it might be pleasant change to make a savoury biscuit for the Hello Cookie project, and this recipe from the Field Guide to Cookies fits the bill nicely.
The original recipe uses white peppercorns, but I only had black peppercorns, so used them instead. An interesting tidbit in the Field Guide mentions that salt and pepper became status symbols of fine cookery in the Middle Ages, and were heavily traded and even used as a form of currency.
This is a fun cookie to make because it involves rolling out the dough and cutting with a cookie cutter. I used a scallop circle, but a plain circle or square with the same dimensions (approx 1 ¾ inch or 4.5 cm) will also work well.
And these cookies are very moreish – they seem simple, but try them with a cheese such as a soft blue, or camembert, and you’ll find it hard to stop at one.
Sea Salt and Peppercorn Coins
Makes about 30
1 ½ cups plain (all-purpose) flour
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch (1 cm) pieces
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1 ½ tsp freshly ground white peppercorns (you can also use black or pink or a combination of pink and white)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 egg white for egg wash
1 tblsp cracked white peppercorns for topping
1 tblsp sea salt flakes for topping
1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F (175 deg C). Line baking sheets with paper.
2. Use a food processor to combine flour and butter to form a fine meal.
3. Add salt, peppercorns and lemon zest, and blend briefly to combine.
4. Add the egg and blend until the dough starts coming together. (Note: These last 2 steps can be done in a mixing bowl, by hand)
5. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch (2mm) thick on a lightly floured surface. Using a 1 ¾-inch (4.5 cm) round cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and place on sheets about 1 ½ inches (4 cm) apart.
6. Beat the egg white lightly to make an egg wash. Brush cookies with egg wash. Sprinkle with peppercorns and sea salt on the top.
7. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool on wire racks.
Recipe adapted from Field Guide to Cookies by Anita Chu