Saturday, February 21, 2015

A New Meaning of the Term: "Holiday Cookie."

First of all,  please accept my most sincerest of apologies. I realize my last post was in August! Turns out I am not too great at sticking to a schedule! Although, I have been trying to take lots of pictures. I have many posts planned, but now need to actually execute them!

I made these cookies as "holiday cookies" but that is not to say they can't be enjoyed at any time!

So now, I introduce you to:

White Fir Sugar Cookies!

White Fir Sugar Cookies
Did you know that most varieties of pine are edible? They have a refreshing lemon-like flavor and scent, and are high in vitamin C; therefore traditionally brewed as a tisane for it's health benefits.
White fir (abies concolor) is a species native in the mountains here in LA. It also contains the following compounds:

Terpinolene: has shown anti-tumor activity, this is a form of a terpine.
Myrcene: astringent, antiviral, and anti-microbial activity
Limonene: evaluated in trials for use as a cancer chemotherapeutic agent.
Gallic acid: a tannin that has shown anti-tumor activity

You probably recognize white fir from it's most popular modern use - you guessed it - christmas trees!

My good friend and mentor, Mia, was the creative genius that conjured up the idea of mixing pulverized white fir needles (foraged by her and Pascal!) and powdered sugar, and therefor creating "white fir sugar," and man is this stuff amazing!! I first encountered this flavor in a semifreddo we had for an event. It also had peruvian balsam in it, and it was divine, quite unlike anything I have ever tasted before! And most recently, we made and covered little doughnuts with this sugar and then added whipped cream and elderberry syrup. Amazing. Now my mouth is watering! Mia, you are my hero!

Mia was awesome enough to gift me a jar of the stuff!! Thank you so much! While trying to think of how I should use it, I decided dusting sugar cookies with them was perfect: especially for the holidays. Most people that tried them loved them (except for my boyfriend's dad, that's okay! ;) ) even people at work who surely thought I was out of my mind when I offered them: "You mean to tell me, you made cookies out of christmas trees..." well, yes I did! Try one! You don't have to like it and eat it if you don't want to! I greatly enjoy introducing people to out-of-the-box (no I don't mean boxed food, but rather, the way of thinking!) eating and flavors. There are so many possibilities out there!

My favorite sugar cookie recipe I can't take credit for. It belongs to Emily Slocum. We went to high school together and were in the same french class, and she was quite the baker and brought these in. They are soft, pillowy almost shortbready, and not too sweet. They are my favorite sugar cookie recipe by far. I introduced the White fir flavor by dipping each cookie into the sugar and agitating to coat, fresh out of the oven. Wonderfully effective!

I know I usually post pictures of ingredients beforehand...but I think you all know what goes into cookies. Nothing super special.

White Fir Sugar Cookies
Active time: 20 minutes
oven time: 8 minutes per batch
Oven Preheat: 400°

4 cups  of flour
1.5 cups of white sugar
2.5 sticks of butter
4 eggs
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
.5 tsp salt

White fir sugar (put fresh white fir needles and powdered sugar in a blender and pulverize.....for more info there are many articles about infused sugars on the interwebs online edition)

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, mix well. Add vanilla. In a separate bowl sift and mix the dry ingredients. Gradually add  the dry ingredients to the wet to avoid clumping.

I like to dump out onto a floured surface and cut into 4 equal parts. I put 3 in the  fridge so they can stay firm for rolling while I am working with one batch.

Roll out to any thickness you would like (I like between 1/4" and 1/2" thickness) and cut into any shape you desire, but make sure you adjust your cooking time accordingly. Thinner cookies will cook quicker.

Put in the oven for 8 minutes. Keep an eye on them, though. Once they start to be golden around the edges they are usually done.

Put your infused sugar into a bowl or other shallow dish that can accommodate the size of your cookie.

As soon as your cookies are cool enough to handle, which doesn't take long, grab them, place them lightly (top side down) into the sugar, and agitate to coat that surface. The reason to do this while they are still war, is because there is still moisture escaping them, and it helps the sugar stick. Yes, you could also use a shaker and shake the sugar over the cookies, but I was trying to waste as little of my precious bounty as possible!

Lightly place the sugar cookie into the sugar.

The result after a little agitation!

There you have it! White fir sugar cookies! You could modify this concept with any type of infused sugar you can think of. The possibilities really are endless!
White fir sugar cookies!!

1 comment:

  1. Sara, these look wonderful and I will certainly try them. I send my grandson Michael a goodies box once a month filled with home made cookies and stuff, these will be included next time............hope all is well with you dear. Love your site............xoxo auntie robie