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Crafting Culinary Magic with Foraged Ingredients

By Taylor Owens

Juniper berry sugar stars. ADOBE STOCK PHOTO

Foraging is a timeless ritual that allows us to rediscover our profound connection to the Earth. Venturing into wild spaces, we can find edible bites, as well as a deeper communion with the land. Cultivating our connection with the land through food invites us to become attuned to the ever-changing seasons. Join us in celebrating the local and the wild by bringing a taste of Montana’s wilderness to your home and tables this winter season.

Cookie Recipe: Juniper Berry Sugar Stars

  • 4 cups cake flour (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces butter
  • 1 cup sugar (granulated, for cookies)
  • 1/2 cup granulated golden cane sugar (or just plain) for juniper sugar
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons dried juniper berries
  • 3/4 cup cream (some for cookies, some for glaze)


Juniper Sugar: Grind 2-3 tablespoons of dried juniper berries in a spice or coffee grinder until it is a fine soft powder. Sieve out any large bits, if necessary. Mix with half a cup of sugar. Place in a jar and let sit overnight.

Juniper Glaze Icing: Grind 2 tablespoons of dried juniper berries in a coffee or spice grinder until fine. Sieve off any large bits. Grind again, sieve. Keep going until you have a smooth powder. Place in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup of cream. Bring to almost a boil. Take off heat, cover, and place in the fridge overnight. 

  • Let all the ingredients come to room temperature before you begin. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Cream butter, sugar, and salt on low speed. Add the egg, cream, vanilla and mix until blended.
  • In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together.
  • Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients until combined.
  • Pat and press the dough into a ball. Wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  • Transfer chilled dough to a lightly floured (or sugared) work area, roll out the dough out quite flat: about one-eighth of an inch thick.
  • Cut out cookies, placing them on an ungreased baking sheet.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges and bottoms of the cookies are barely beginning to turn golden brown.
  • When the cookies are cool enough to handle but still warm, remove them from the pan and cool them on a wire rack. Let them cool completely before icing.
  • Dip one-half of each cookie in the juniper berry glaze, then dip again (while still wet) into a bowl of juniper sugar.
  • Let the glaze dry before serving.

Cocktail Recipe: Pine Old Fashioned

Pine old fashioned. ADOBE STOCK PHOTO

Made like any other infused simple syrup, pine syrup needs steeping. Make an easy simple syrup (sugar and water), and then remove from heat, add the pine needles and steep for 2-3 hours.

When cool, strain the pine syrup. The syrup can be refrigerated for up to a month.

  • .75 ounce pine simple syrup
  • aromatic bitters
  • 2 ounces bourbon whiskey


1. Combine simple syrup and bitters in the bottom of a rocks glass.

2. Top with bourbon and large ice cube.

3. Garnish with small pine branch.

4. Cheers!