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Treats: White Pine Swirl Cookies

White Pine Swirl Cookies

In the winter, you can always forage for white pine. (Or buy it already dried!) To positively ID white pine, you're going to locate a conifer with long needles. When you're examining the needles, they should be long, soft/pliable, smooth, and light green. The biggest ID marker is the clusters of five needles per bunch. It looks like a small brush. This cluster is called a fascicle.

The pine needles can be harvested and used immediately for teas, fresh or dried. The taste is very refreshing, clean and bright, and really a great counterpoint in these cookies.. White pine is incredibly high in vitamins A and C, so it makes an excellent ally during cold season.


2 Tablespoons flax seed meal in 4 Tablespoons warm water

3/4 cup softened, room-temperature vegan margarine

3/4 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons vegan milk (oat or soy work best)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest (optional)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

2 Tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Parchment paper; extra flour for rolling

1/2 cup pine needles, cleaned and dried


1. Mix flaxseed meal and water, and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes.

2. In a mixing bowl, use an electric mixer or wooden spoon to cream together margarine, sugar, vanilla, zest, and salt. Add in flax/water mixture and blend again.

3. Add flour, arrowroot, and baking powder in two portions, blending carefully after each addition. Dough will be crumbly but should stick together in a ball. You don’t want it to be sticky or so dry that there’s still flour in the bowl. If you need to adjust with water or flour, do it in very small increments, like 1 Tablespoon at a time.

4. Wrap in parchment and chill for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

5. To bake, preheat the oven to 400. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

6. Finely chop the pine needles in a food processor, blender, coffee grinder or by hand, and set aside. It's okay if they're as fine as powder.

7. Coat a work surface with flour, and slice doughball in half. Using a rolling pin or smooth jar, roll out cookies to 1/4-1/3 inch thickness and sprinkle flat surface with pine needles. Roll into a pinwheel and slice.

8. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

9. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly browned on the edges. Cookies will firm up more as they cool. Bottoms burn quickly!

10. Allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a storage container. This recipe makes about 50 small cookies.


Note: This is my basic sugar cookie recipe and is also delicious without the citrus and/or pine!

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