David’s Seaweed Sables

David's Seaweed Sables

‘Cocktail cookies’ are the new breed of appetizer allegedly making quite a stir in Paris these days.  I say ‘allegedly’ because I have not been there recently to have one myself.  I’m hearing this second hand from Dorie and David but I have no reason to believe they aren’t tell me the truth.  Besides, Paris is a magical place where all small affectations, be they culinary in origin or otherwise, are alarmingly chic simply because, well, they come from Paris.   Don’t laugh.. I know for a fact this phenomena is true because I have actually been to Paris and I have experienced the ecstasy-like style hallucinations in can provoke.   But the fact remains, many, many things that appear effortlessly chic in while you are in Paris simply do not play as nicely if similarly experienced ‘back home’.

See where I’m going with this?

David’s Seaweed Sables

Wine served in old, scratchy and slightly chipped glasses on a rusty metal tray are oh so, so adorable and stylish when experienced at a self-discovered not-so-downscale Paris eatery.   You exclaim, “isn’t it so amazing this place uses vintage cutlery and barware? It just works!” Back home the same experience would provoke a vitriolic Yelp review.

I now no longer allow myself to buy clothing when I travel to foreign cities for this very reason.  My closets are filled with things that I just had to have when I saw them overseas.  Back home in my neighborhood they just looked ridiculous.  Nobody in Irvine wears an ascot.

Context can be key.   

Trust me when I say this but I really didn’t hate these Seaweed Sable cocktail cookies.  I actually liked them quite a bit.  These sweet and salty bar snacks are intended to go with drinks before the meal and not with dessert afterwards. Dorie Greenspan has been enthusiastically prosthelytizing the virtues of the “cocktail cookie”  in her books, blog posts, magazine articles, and even at her own Cookie Bar enterprise for awhile now.   I wouldn’t bet against her.   If she says they are good, they are.  And seaweed?   Please don’t look at me for food aversions.  I like everything and when it is packaged with butter, sugar, and salt I like it even more.

Its just couldn’t shake the feeling that I would have liked these cookies a lot more had I actually been snacking on them while sipping a smart vermouth cocktail at a Paris cafe instead of with a glass of Wednesday’s chardonnay while staring out the window of my suburban condominium.
If I had just taken that first bite during a trip to Paris while under its spell I know I would be screaming about seaweed cocktail cookies to anyone who would listen.  I would be spending hours at home in my kitchen reverse engineering the alchemy of base flavor that makes them a unique option for encouraging alcohol  consumption

I wasn’t there, however. I was here.

Knowing that these cookies are the love-child of Dorie and her good friend David Lebovitz certainly fed my appreciation of them just that much more. Their imprimatur is the next best thing to being in Paris and experiencing the Paris phenomenon first hand. Eventually however, my own reality was bound to kick in and I realized that not one person around me was going to understand these the way I do.

Maybe its just too early in suburbia for cookies made with seaweed to be fully appreciated? Perhaps in 20 years the seaweed cookies won’t feel so out of place where I live. When that happens I’m going to pull out this recipe and make these again while sipping a vermouth cocktail and wearing an ascot.

David’s Seaweed Sables

This is what you will need:

  • 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

This is how you make it:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, cream 6 Tablespoons of room temperature butter with 3 Tablespoons of chopped, toasted nori roll with a rubber spatula/scraper until smooth and creamy.
  2. Next, mix in 2 teaspoons flour de del and 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoons sugar — followed by 1 egg yolk and 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.
  3. When all is mixed well then add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons AP flour and mix with the rubber spatula until just full mixed and all flour is absorbed.
  4. Divide the dough in half and roll each half into an 8 inch log. (The log will be about 1? in diameter.)
  5. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator at least one hour or overnight.
  6. To cook, preheat oven to 350 and slice each log into thin 3/8 inch slices and put on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
  7. Bake 12 minutes or until just set but not brown on top.
  8. Cool on a rack.

David's Seaweed Sables


About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don't know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]" means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small 'boom' in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a "food blog" or even myself a "food blogger".

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  1. Luckily I live in a decrepit city in a 100 year old house that’s falling apart. My shabby chic digs are the perfect environment for this cocktail cookie, thank you for contextualizing this in just the right way! Also, I personally think you should ALWAYS wear an ascot. You would look so dapper and chic. : )

  2. I know the feeling about your purchases. Luckily I have a lot of sarongs that can double as table decorations! Of course, that’s one of my favorite things about international airport terminals, seeing people arrive home in their new stuff!

    I liked these a lot, though when I served them (as suggested, as a”nibble” with wine), there was a mixed reaction. Shockingly they were a huge hit with everyone when I brought the leftovers to work. And no one would accuse Arizona of being chic, so maybe there’s hope for Dorie and David’s quest!

    • Oh yes, beach and resort purchases are definitely an example of what I’m talking about here. At least they aren’t as expensive as some of the things I have wasted money on. Here, have a cookie.

  3. I saw these once today and at first reading I wasn’t convinced I’d like to try them but after reading your post, I just might give it a go.

    I’m so boring, trendy things just don’t catch my eye. I’d much rather spend a small fortune on something classic that looks okay on me.

  4. My family is not trendy at all…so I knew the idea of a cocktail cookie would not fly. I would have loved to sample one of yours…but I just couldn’t rationalize a whole batch. I think you’d look quite dapper in your ascot sipping a cocktail and snacking on these tres chic appetizer…I’d pull out my unworn Hermes scarf for the occasion 😉

  5. Trevor, I was so prepared not to like these cookies, I seriously thought of not making them! However, I found them surprisingly delicious! You’re so right, they definitely would have tasted better in a small cafe in Paris sipping on a glass of wine…but I enjoyed them sitting on my deck, reading my book, and sipping on a glass of ice tea! Have a great weekend!!

    • In all truthiness Kathy, just about anything would be better when consumed in a small cafe in Paris so it was an easy, not too challenging observation now that I think about it. Hear dear, have a cookie.

  6. I LOVED these 🙂 And yes they would have been much better in Paris 🙂

  7. You are so right! Everything is better in view of the Eiffel Tower! I really think I’d like these without the seaweed.

    Have a great weekend!

  8. Glad you liked those cookies. A little salt, a little butter – and a couple of cocktails alongside. What’s not to like?

    Glad they were at hit with your drinks!

  9. I have never been to Paris, but I loved your description. I had to trick most people into trying these cookies. I only told them what was in them after they had said they were yummy. Tricksy….

  10. When I read your blog post I remembered the endless stories told by my parents and my friends´parents about how the “oh, so simple Italian vino da tavola tastes sooo terrific while you are on vacation in Italy and just awful back home” – they also probably served the wine in the same slightly chipped glasses there…

    I enjoy reading your blog quite a bit – your writing style really forces me to focus while reading, it is good for my rotten English – no laughing out loud here, please!

  11. Tricia and I had steak and frites in a small cafe in the 6th arr. and thought it fantastic. Back
    home I’m not a big steak fan and would not even have purchased that cut of meat. As you say,
    everything tastes better Paris. As for the sablés, I did like them, even though I had my doubts.
    Happy weekend.

    • Nana I had no doubt I would love them and I did. I would have been obnoxiously over-the-moon about them if I had first had them in Paris however. My family should be quite grateful that I didn’t.

  12. You bet and hooray, Trevor, Context is key. I just ran through a mental list of my “What was I thinking?” souvenirs. Rather expensive mistakes. I could have run with these seaweed guys if they tasted good. I didn’t think much of the taste but now I do wonder if I were in Paris, sipping, biting into this morsel, if it would taste delicious. Probably so. Don’t you love Lillet? Should have had an orange skin sliver.

    • I bought more Lillet on my way home from a friends last night. Great minds. Did you see the Liberte cocktail I posted a year ago? It is my favorite cocktail with Lillet!

  13. I am with you on the context is the key thing. I liked these cookies sans wine and the Paris vibe, despite actually believing I was going to hate them. However, I think that if I was on a house boat on the French Riviera sipping a glass of bubbly, these would be manna from heaven.

  14. “Context is key,” so true, so true! Although if I was in Paris I’m pretty sure I would opt for the chocolate pastry and not the seaweed biscuit! These were a hit here in Texas though!

  15. The clothes! I have a handpainted dress from the french polynesia that´s unwearable and a sequined lilac bikini from the Lago di Garda in Italy, and so many other things…man, context is everything! At least you liked the cookies and can re-create some kind of ambience. Good post

  16. Maybe if Dorie and David baked these and served them to me with a drink, I’d be so swept away that I’d like them. Mine were not good, though. I’m wondering if preparing them in the food processor distributed the seaweed too much, so these became fish biscuits instead of buttery sweet biscuits with a hint of seaweed.

    • I tried chopping first but quickly decided I had to get out the processor if this was going to work at all. I did have to leave it running for quite a bit to get the pieces where I thought they should be.

  17. Very pretty photos, Trevor. Yes, I think I would have enjoyed these even more in Paris, but probably would prefer sitting at an outdoor cafe still drinking some tea with them and enjoying people watching rather than eating them at a chic cocktail party. 😉

  18. Seaweed in Paris?
    I like cookies by the sea.
    Fruity drink in hand.

  19. I know the spell Paris puts on people. I was basically salivating at gas station baguette and cheese adjacent to my hotel in St. Germain. No one can tell me gas station bread and cheese would do the same at home. No one. These are gorgeous.

  20. Great post Trevor. I really enjoy your writing and I think you summed up this week’s recipe perfectly. I wanted to like them but it just wasn’t meant to be. Maybe I’ve just been away from Paris too long.

  21. How many more make-up recipes are you working on posting now?

    I have nominated you for the Lovely Blog award! Check out this post to accept it!


  22. Anonymous says:

    “Location, location, location.”

    Although, having said that, carbs are still carbs, even in Paris.


  23. Next time I am in Irvine I promise to wear an ascot! GREG