People Can't Believe This Candied Pinecone Recipe

Want to whip up a batch of sweet toffee-like treats? Look no farther than the nearest pine tree. Pinecones, according to many survivalist blogs and guides like this post on Survival Sullivan) have been deemed totally edible — and they're getting new attention in the cooking community, thanks to one Redditor's experience at a restaurant in Denmark called Noma.

The original poster first came to Reddit's cooking community in early 2021, asking for help in finding a recipe for a candied pine cone they ate at "a fancy restaurant" in Copenhagen. Describing the treat, they said, "I didn't expect anything at first. I actually thought it was a chocolate. But when I ate it, I almost cried. It was like I was eating a forest. The flavor was something that I had only smelled, but very concentrated in a toffee-like consistency."

While the Redditor doesn't specifically mention Noma, it's no secret that the restaurant — named one of The World's Best 50 in 2019 – does have candied pine cones on the menu. Co-founder Rene Redzepi even describes making them on his Instagram, showing how he chooses young pickings from a scotch pine tree and then noting they're "simmered in sugar for almost two hours. ... This renders them soft like toffee, with the most incredible forest flavor."

Get that pine cone taste without traveling to Copenhagen

If candied pinecones intrigue your tastebuds, luckily you won't need to travel to Copenhagen to get a taste of them for yourself. The same Redditor did a little hands-on research and, in May 2021, posted their recipe for a similar creation. The process includes harvesting your own baby pine cones, pre-boiling them, simmering them in a simple syrup, letting them cool, and then repeating the simmer-cool process three times. 

The recipe requires several days to make (as the cooling requires 12 hours each time), but the Redditor says the work is well worth it. Fellow Redditors applauded their efforts, saying things like, "I'm a chef and this right here is absolutely insanely smart! It's like making candied citrus peels. Same concept!" And another said, "These are incredibly delicious and they've got a unique texture, a little bit denser and more toothsome than a date."

Love the idea of eating a sweet pine cone, but aren't terribly keen on the idea of eating bits off the tree outside your window? You might want to try a pine cone made from cereal and peanut butter first, from blog Frugal Mom, Eh!.