Kelp and Smoked Sea Salt Scones

Admittedly, seaweed scones sound like something a mermaid would eat, but bear with me: these salty, savory biscuits are a game changer. Fresh out of the oven and spread with melting spicy butter, they’re unbeatable with a bowl of chunky chowder or a citrus dressed seafood salad. The unbaked scones freeze well, which means you can keep some in the freezer to bake whenever the mood strikes.

Kelp and Smoked Sea Salt Scones
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
Course: Appetizer
Servings: 8 Scones
Serrano butter
  • 2 serrano or jalapeño peppers stems removed
  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
Kelp scones
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp smoked sea salt see Note on page XX [44]
  • 2 Tbsp kelp powder see Note
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 3/4 cup 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
Serrano butter
  1. Preheat the broiler and set the oven rack to the topmost position.
  2. Put the peppers on a baking sheet and broil on one side for about 5 minutes or until beginning to soften and the skins are browned or blackened.
  3. Use tongs to turn the peppers over and broil for another 5 minutes or until browned. Set aside to cool.
  4. When cool enough to handle, scrape off the skins.
  5. Split the peppers open and remove the seeds.
  6. Transfer the peppers to a blender or food processor, add the butter, honey, and salt, and process until well blended. Scrape the butter onto a piece of plastic wrap, and then shape and roll it into a 2-inch-thick log.
  7. Refrigerate until needed.
Kelp Scones
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder, smoked salt, kelp powder, and lemon zest until combined.
  3. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal scattered with a few larger pea-size pieces of butter. (Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer, or cut the butter in by hand with a pastry cutter.)
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and egg until well combined.
  5. Add to the flour mixture, and pulse just a few times until the dough starts to come together. Do not overmix.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a clean, dry work surface. Gather and press it together to form a cohesive ball.
  7. Sprinkle the work surface lightly with flour. Roll or pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick circle.
  8. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 8 wedges. Arrange the scones on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with the serrano butter.
Recipe Notes

Kelp powder is available at many well-stocked supermarkets in the nutritional supplements aisle or through farmers’ markets and online retailers. To make from frozen, just reduce the heat to 375°F and bake about 10 minutes longer.