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Pine Nut Rosemary Cookies

pine nut cookies

Photo by Elise Bauer

Now normally I am not much of a baker, and cookies, well, they’re not really my style. But sometimes I just gotta go there. This is one of those times. I got some wild pine nuts from my friend Charlie, and I wanted to use them in a special way.

The combination of pine nuts and rosemary is a natural: pine and pine, as rosemary’s resiny, piney nature works well with the nuts. Just for an added bit of weirdness, I included a little acorn flour, too. Why? I like the whole grain flavor you get with the flour, plus its added color and nutrition — and I like the fact that our local pine nuts grow right next to the oak trees I got these acorns from. You can use another whole grain flour and it will work just fine.

You will definitely need to let the dough rest a while if you do use whole grain flours, though, as they need a while to hydrate. Two hours would be minimum, I’d say, and I made one batch of these cookies three days after making the dough and they were fine.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup acorn flour, or whole wheat, spelt or barley flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg


  1. Mix the flours, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.
  2. Buzz the sugar and rosemary together in a food processor until you get rosemary sugar, about 20-30 seconds. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl. Fit your mixer with a paddle attachment.
  3. Pulse all but 2 heaping tablespoons of the toasted pine nuts in the food processor until well crushed, but not smooth. The crushed nuts go in the cookie, the whole ones go on top of the cookie.
  4. Add the butter to the sugar-rosemary mixture and beat on high speed until it is fluffy, about 90 seconds. Turn off the machine, add the egg, then turn it on low and increase the speed of the mixer until the egg is combined. Add the crushed pine nuts and the flour mixture and beat until this is all combined.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and form it into a log. The thicker the log, the wider the cookie. 1-2 inches is a good diameter. Wrap the dough tightly with the plastic wrap and set in the fridge for at least 2 hours, and up to 2 days. You need this resting time for the butter to harden and the flours to absorb moisture.
  6. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Get two large cookie sheets out and slice the dough log into coins of about 1/4 inch thick. Shape them as best you can into circles (use a cutter if you really want to), and press 3-4 whole pine nuts into each cookie.
  7. Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, for 12 minutes. Let them cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before you move them to a rack to cool thoroughly. They should keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

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