Pine & Violet Shortbread

I had a quick half hour to make some biscuits for a workshop group I was going attending so on my way home I stopped by the park and harvested some Eastern White Pine needles and picked some violet flowers from my front yard. It’s mid winter here in Beechworth so there isn’t a lot of foraging to be done. 

In the recipe it states freeze the mix for 15 minutes, but I didn’t have 15 minutes for the ones in the picture. I would definitely do that if time permits.

You can also substitute for whatever is in season around you. Like nettle and calendula.



  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh pine needles  – can use fir, Douglas fir, pine, spruce or substitute rosemary
  • cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar, a little extra to sprinkle
  • teaspoons orange zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • cups plain flour
  • Edible Flowers like violets, calendula, pansies, viola, lavender, rose


  1. Finely chop the evergreen needles/tips using a food processor, coffee or spice grinder, or you can also use a knife but be sure to chop very finely.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the evergreen needles/tips, butter, sugar, orange zest, and salt. Mix with a wooden spoon until creamy.

  3. Gradually add the flour, mixing thoroughly after each addition to form a buttery ball of dough. You can mix with a wooden spoon, your hands, or both

  4. Divide the dough between 2 large sheets of baking paper. Using the paper as an aid, roll each piece of dough into a 5cm diameter log. Wrap and freeze for 15 minutes.

  5. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  6. Unwrap the dough and cut into 1cm thick rounds. Depending on the conifer you used and the grinding method, you may see little fibres sticking out the edges of the cookies. These are harmless and fine to eat, but for prettier cookies you can take the time to pick them out or smooth them down before baking.

  7. Place your flowers on top and sprinkle with the extra sugar.
  8. To bake, place the cookies 2cm apart on baking paper-lined baking sheets. Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.