Monday, June 15, 2009

Hello Cookie: Sea Salt and Peppercorn Coins

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
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

Ingredients: Plain flour, lemon zest, unsalted butter, egg, peppercorns, salt

Mix the butter and flour to a fine meal, then add egg; roll out dough and cut with cookie cutter

Separating an egg to get the egg white; which is used to brush the top of the cookies

Sea Salt and Peppercorn Coins - perfect as part of a cheese or fruit plate


  1. I always intend to make my own biscuits to eat with cheese and these look so tasty! I love the little cookie cutter you used.

  2. Savoury biscuits are something you so rarely make at home that it's great to see a recipe. Nice idea sprinkling the pink salt on top!

  3. The scalloped edges make them look so cute! And you've made such tiny biscuits too - that would drive me completely up the wall.

    They sound absolutely delicious. I can imagine myself munching down most of a batch while watching tv :)

  4. Mmm savoury biscuits are so moreish aren't they? I've been wanting to do a similar recipe but never got around to it. I like how you use the egg wash to get them all golden on top!

  5. out of curiosity - what's the difference between white and black peppercorns?

    otherwise, these biccies look great!

  6. hi Megan - biscuits with cheese are the best, and even better when they are homemade!

    hi Arwen - I got the pink salt a while ago and now I can't stop using it!

    hi shez - they are really so (too)easy to eat.

    hi steph - egg wash is great for that glossy look on cookies, white or yolk.

    hi panda - white peppercorns are less aromatic and hotter than black (according to the Guide to Cookies). Sounds about right!

  7. Oh my goodness, you make me drool all the time!!! You are so fortunate you know how to make such wonderful and tasty treats! What an inspiration to me! Oh, were you able to make that wedding card you needed?

  8. What adorable shapes! You make some great cookie flavours. I think the only savoury biscuits I've eaten are cheese biscuits so these sound really interesting!

  9. hi Lorraine - thanks! Sometimes, I feel like a savoury biscuit and these ones fit the bill! Cheese bikkies are brilliant, too.

  10. hi Tiffany - you are a creative inspiration to me too! Your day on the Hero Arts blog is so fab!