Etsy Journal

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Elegant Almond Pinecones for the Holiday Table

Add these tasty treats to your centerpiece or place settings to bring a dose of rustic charm to your next gathering.

Almond pinecones DIY how-to
Photo by: Heather Baird

When it comes to seasonal decor, it's hard to top the simple beauty of pinecones—whether they're nestled in a harvest-themed wreath or piled in a basket as an eye-catching centerpiece. And while there's no shortage of ways to trim your tabletop with these iconic accents, why not go one better and whip up an edible pinecone version? These cocoa-dusted almond pinecones begin with a batch of delicious homemade almond paste; layers of almond slices mimic the edible pinecones' rigid scales. Integrate these tasty treats into holiday place settings to add a dose of rustic charm to your next gathering.
Almond pine cone recipe ingredients

For your edible pinecones, you will need:
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg, beaten*
  • 4 cups sliced almonds
  • Dark cocoa powder for dusting

*Be sure to use eggs that have been pasteurized to destroy bacteria. You can also substitute 2 ounces of reconstituted egg whites or meringue powder for the raw egg.

Step 1: Mix your almond pinecone ingredients

Edible pine cone dry ingredients

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the ground almonds, confectioners’ sugar and superfine sugar to make the almond paste. Add the lemon juice and almond extract; whisk again.

Step 2: Process with dough hook

Mix edible pine cone dough with dough hook attachment
Knead almond pine cone dough until it comes together

Attach the dough hook to the mixer and mix on low speed while slowly adding the beaten egg. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the edible pinecone dough clumps together. Don't have a mixer with a dough hook? Simply knead the almond pinecone mixture by hand for five minutes or until thoroughly combined.

Step 3: Refrigerate dough

Form almond pine cone paste into a log

Turn the dough out onto a piece of waxed paper and roll into a log. Use the paste immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator (make sure to bring the paste to room temperature before using).

Step 4: Form pinecone base using almond paste

Form pinecone base using almond paste

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then roll two tablespoons (about 2 ounces) of almond paste between your palms to make a ball. Form one end of the ball into a narrower curve to create an egg shape.

Step 5: Flatten base of pinecone

Flatten base of pinecone

Cut away one third of the egg-shaped ball with a small knife so it lays flat, then transfer to the baking sheet; the leftover paste can be used to start the next ball. Repeat the process until you have used all of the paste. (When you've finished, you should have about 16 pieces.) Cover the dough shapes with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out.

Step 6: Add almond scales

Step 1 - Add almond scales
Step 2 - Add almond scalesStep 3 - Add almond scalesStep 4 - Add almond scales

Pour the almond slices into a large bowl or scatter on a plate so you can easily pick out whole slices; avoid using the broken pieces for your decorative scales. Working with one piece of dough at a time, press an almond slice into the center of the pointed end. Continue pressing almond slices into the paste on a slight angle, working back from where you started and staggering the pieces so they overlap.

Step 7: Dust almond scales with cocoa

Dust almond scales with cocoa

When all of the pinecones are complete, dust with dark cocoa powder and gently dust off the excess with a soft pastry brush.

Step 8: Plate and present the pinecones

Edible almond pine cone recipe

Store the pinecones in an airtight container until you're ready to display them on your holiday table. Enjoy!

What's your signature holiday treat? Add one of these other sweet holiday treats to your recipe box for your next celebration: owl cookies for fall, DIY easter bark for spring, and gingerbread salt dough ornaments for your Christmas decor.

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Heather Baird image
Heather Baird

Heather Baird is an accomplished painter and photographer, but her passion is creating eye-popping, mouthwatering desserts. She writes about her adventures in the world of creative dessert-making on her award-winning blog, SprinkleBakes. She is the author of the new desserts book, Sea Salt Sweet, and her previous baking book, SprinkleBakes: Dessert Recipes to Inspire your Inner Artist was published in 2012. Heather lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her husband Mark and two mischievous pugs, Biscuit and Churro.

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