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overhead photo of plate with homemade chocolate sugar cookies made to look like pinecones using slivered almonds on a plate and served with coffee and on a table decorated with real pinecones and evergreen branches

Pinecone Sugar Cookie Recipe

By Brenda Ponnay

Pinecone season runs from September through December, or mainly in the autumn. That’s pinecones start falling to the ground from trees.  It’s also baking season for us. As such, that’s how the Pinecone Cookie was born!

two photos side by side showing boy in blue shirt and striped sweater adding coca powder to stand up mixer

Baking supplies you’ll need to make Pinecone Cookies:

  • sugar cookie dough (recipe below)
  • 2-3 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • cookie cutters in oval shapes
  • almond slivers

It turns out it’s pretty easy to make a chocolate-flavored “pinecone cookie.” All you need to do is add cocoa powder to your usual sugar cookie recipe. We used this sugar cookie recipe at All Recipes because we know it’s easy to roll out and cut into shapes but probably any sugar cookie dough (even store-bought) would work. How much unsweetened cocoa was the next step. We eye-balled it and lopped in THREE big and healthy scoops. It wasn’t bad.

Once the dough was thoroughly mixed we plopped it onto a sheet of parchment paper and rolled it to ¼ inches thick. Then we covered it with another piece of parchment paper and popped it into the refrigerator to chill for a few minutes. It’s always better to work with sugar cookie dough when it’s cold.

picture showing blond boy in blue shirt and striped sweater using cookie cutter on rolled-out chocolate sugar dough

Once it was chilled we took off the top layer of parchment paper and cut cookie shapes. We used an easter-egg, a maple leaf, and a holly leaf shape and they all worked equally well.


three photos on top of each other showing boy using cookie cutter to cut out shape from chocolatey sugar cookie dough

It turns out the shape of a pinecone can be pretty much anything! It’s the almond slivers you add to them that really make them look like pinecones.

\close-up photo of boy adding almond slivers to different shaped chocolate sugar cookies

Once all the shapes were cut out, we started the laborious process of sticking the slivered almonds one by one into the chocolate cookies. Of course, you could just mound the almonds on top and tell everyone they are pinecone cookies. That works just as well but if you want them to really *look* like pinecones it’s best to start at the top and stick the slivered almonds into the cookie so that the almonds are all pointing the same direction, working your way down to the bottom with some slivers slightly hanging off the edges for an authentic pinecone look.

picture of sandy-haired blond boy in blue shirt in kitchen holding a tray of baked cookies on baking sheet made to look like pinecones using slivered almondsI mean, come on. It’s worth it, right? Don’t they look cute? I was worried that the thin slivers of almonds might burn or toast but they don’t. They hold up to the oven heat just fine and are nice and crispy when the cookie bakes. After nine or so minutes in the oven (following the sugar cookie recipe above) at 375 degrees F, we took them out and they looked perfect!


blondish boy wearing blue shirt and striped zippered sweatshirt sitting at the table with glass of milk and pinecone cookie on plate

And they tasted perfect too! A little chocolate, and a little crunch. It’s a perfect late-night snack!

close-up of blue coffee cup with two chocolate sugar cookies with slivered almonds with the words Pinecone Cookies at the top of the photo

I hope you enjoy making these as much as we did!

More Cookie Recipes here:

1. Gingerbread Cookie Birds (Perched on a Cup) for the Holidays!
2. Turkey Feather-Shaped Cookies
3. Spooky Blackberry Chocolate Crackle Cookie Recipe (for Halloween)

About the Author

Brenda Ponnay

Brenda Ponnay is an author and illustrator who loves to craft and make big messes when she’s not working on her books. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of card...

Brenda Ponnay is an author and illustrator who loves to craft and make big messes when she’s not working on her books. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of cardboard boxes or just doing the laundry with flair, Brenda Ponnay has learned that what really makes her happy is being creative every single day.

You can read about all her crazy adventures on her personal blog: Secret Agent Josephine.

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