Pine Needle Shortbread Cookies

Pining for a new take on a holiday classic.

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Pine Needle Shortbread Cookies
Photo: Melanie McDonald

A twist on an old favourite with just a hint of piney, citrusy flavour. Delicate, delicious and sure to impress!

All varieties of pine needle are edible except Norfolk Island Pine, Ponderosa Pine and Yew trees. Avoid these varieties and be sure to stick to the traditional, short, cylindrical, pointy needles.

Makes 25 cookies

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup natural powdered sugar
  • ½ cup coconut oil, hard and cold
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp. pine needles(wash gently while attached to the twig, dry, then strip from the twig so only the loose needles remain)
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • powdered sugar (for sprinkling)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F and prep cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flour and pine needles in a blender. Blend until pine needles are uniform pieces throughout the flour. Don’t be alarmed by the really strong pine smell. Once cooked it becomes very subtle. Using a blender and flour is the easiest method for chopping the pine needles.

Combine the powdered sugar, salt and coconut oil in a bowl. Use a fork to mash together very well until you can no longer see any powdered sugar and batter is light and fluffy. Pour in the flour and pine needle mixture.

Mix by hand until everything is combined. Do not over mix or use electric beaters. Too much mixing will affect the texture of the finished shortbread.

It should be slightly crumbly but hold together when squeezed in your hand. The drier you can get away with keeping the dough the better the texture of your shortbread; you should not need to add any liquid at all.

If the dough is starting to get a bit soft, stop and place in the fridge for 20 minutes before continuing to firm it up again.

Lightly dust a surface with flour and shape your dough into a ball. Roll out to about 3-4 mm thick, use a cookie cutter or mason jarlid/rim of a glass to cut into shapes and place gently onto a cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. They will turn golden around the edges and on the bottom when done but still slightly soft in the middle. Cool to firm on a cooling rack.

Nutrition facts per cookie: Calories 68; protein 1 g; fat 4 g; carbs 6 g.

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