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.
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.