Conifer Cookies

I associate cookies and baking with the holidays. This recipe brings to mind the crisp feel, taste, and smell of a winter forrest. Spruce and fir tips are picked in the spring. You must freeze them if you plan to use them at other times of the year.

Conifer Cookies

1/2 cup of spruce or fir tips, which you will finely grind in a food processor

1 cup of buckwheat flour

1/2 cup of rice flour

1/2 cup of almond flour

2 tsp of dried orange peel, 5 drops of orange essential oil or 2 tsp of fresh orange zest

1/2 cup of sugar

1/4 tsp of ground cardamon

1/8 tsp of sea salt

1 cup pf butter or butter substitute softened (do not use anything that has coconut oil in it)

Cream the butter and sugar together. Set aside in a small bowl

Add and mix the flours, cardamon, and salt in a large bowl

Add the small bowl to the large one. Mix in your orange peel etc. Stir. Fold in the conifer tips.

Form the dough into a ball. Wrap in parchment or wax paper. Roll into a 1.5 inch cylinder. Chill for 1-4 hours.

When ready to bake, unwrap the dough and slice into rounds that are a little less than 1 cm. thick.

Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. You are going for texture not color. The cookies will not be a golden brown but they will hold together and crumble when eaten. They should not be soft nor “snap” like an English biscuit.


I recommend that you harvest only pine, fir, or spruce when making medicine or food. Some species of conifers could be toxic when consumed internally. It is best to use a field guide for identifying trees so I will not attempt the botany and descriptions in this post. Conifers have needles instead of leaves, “cones instead of flowers”, resins, and highly aromatic essential oils.

Those conifers with a historical use as medicine tend to be similar in their properties and uses. You will find them in syrups for cough, laryngitis and flu. An infusion can be made for indigestion and fever. As a bath they promote sweating and sooth aching muscles. A liniment can be used for arthritis, sciatica, and rheumatism. Steam inhalation can be helpful for congestion and sinus infections. Ointments and poultices have a history of treating wounds, eczema, boils, acne, and splinters. Tips are particularly high in vitamin C and have been used for blot clots and scurvy.

Contraindications. Use sparingly. Avoid if you have issues with your kidneys. Contact dermatitis may result from contact with the bark or pitch.

This year I used fir tips in a tincture and simple syrup. They make fantastic pickles, similar to capers in dishes that include wild salmon as a main ingredient.

Published by blackbirdsbackyard

My backyard botanical pharmacy is located in Boulder Colorado. I began studying herbal medicinewhen I was 12 years old. In college I studied subjects like anthropology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, After graduation I decided to go to midwifery school. I attended births and had a small practice until I retired early in order to be a mother full time. I have always had an herb garden, gathered plants and made my own healing formulas with plants. Over the last 30 years there have been many teachers and I have attended dozens of workshops. I am one of those people who is always reading, studying and learning. In 2019 I was called to practice as an herbalist professionally, using "plant spirit medicine" and bio-energetic ( 5 element)healing techniques. I feel that there is a big need in the community for my skills and talents. I hope to inspire others to start their own backyard pharmacies as a solution to species extinction and the healthcare crisis in America. Healing has also become a spiritual practice and way for me to feel balanced and connected with nature. I consult with clients in person, teach classes (adults and kids), give tours of my garden and offer apprenticeships. Health, joy, meaning, and support are everyone's birthright.

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