How to Make Chocolate Pine Cones

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Thanksgiving might typically be pie season, but that doesn’t mean you should feel obligated to serve the same old pumpkin pie on the big day! This year I’m going to think outside the box, look outside the window, and take inspiration from the natural world to serve a beautiful fall-themed cake at my Thanksgiving table.
How to Make Chocolate Pine Cones | OhNuts.com

The stars of the cake are these Chocolate Pine Cones, made with an easy almond-chocolate fudge and lots of sliced almonds. I scattered them on top of a chocolate cake, interspersed with sprigs of fresh rosemary. It’s quite simple, but beautiful in its simplicity, and it has the cozy, rustic look I’m going for this year.

How to Make Chocolate Pine Cones | OhNuts.com

The pine cones themselves couldn’t be easier to make. Whip up some chocolate fudge in the microwave, and once it’s set, roll it into balls and glue sliced almonds on with dabs of chocolate. You can make them on the smaller side, like I did, or make larger ones to give as gifts or serve as edible place settings or decorations. They can decorate cakes, cupcakes, tarts, or anything else that might need a little “sprucing” up! (There’s a little spruce tree/pine cone humor for you.)  Ready to make your own gorgeous pine cones? Here’s what you’ll need:

How to Make Chocolate Pine Cones | OhNuts.com

Ingredients

How to Make Chocolate Pine Cones | OhNuts.com

Combine the chocolate chips, condensed milk, butter, salt, and almond extract in a large microwave-safe bowl. If you don’t want to use almond extract, you can stick with vanilla, or go a little crazy and try orange, lemon, coconut, or coffee!

How to Make Chocolate Pine Cones | OhNuts.com

Microwave the bowl for one minute, then stir well. If some of the chocolate chips haven’t melted, microwave it again in 20-second increments, stirring every time, until the mixture is entirely melted and smooth. It should be shiny, thick, and fudgy.

Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the chocolate, and let it sit and firm up until it’s firm enough enough to roll—about 2 hours at cool room temperature, or 45 minutes in the refrigerator. If it gets too cold it will be difficult to work with, so if possible I like to let it sit at room temperature just to be safe.

How to Make Chocolate Pine Cones | OhNuts.com

Use a cookie scoop to form balls of dough about 1 1/2-inches—you should get about 36 pine cones of this size. If you want to use a 1/4-cup scoop, you’ll get pine cones about 3-4 inches long, and you should get about 15 of this size. You can also vary the sizes and make an assortment! Whichever size you choose, place your scoops on a baking sheet covered with waxed paper or parchment.

How to Make Chocolate Pine Cones | OhNuts.com

Roll the fudge between your palms into an oval shape. Gently pinch one end so that it comes to a subtle point and has a pine cone shape.

How to Make Chocolate Pine Cones | OhNuts.com

Melt the milk chocolate wafers in the microwave, and stir until smooth. Dip one side of the bottom of a sliced almond in the melted coating, and press it against the back of one of the fudge pine cones. Dip a second sliced almond, then place it next to the first one, overlapping it slightly. The back should look sort of like a peacock’s tail.

How to Make Chocolate Pine Cones | OhNuts.com

Continue to add sliced almonds in an overlapping pattern, working back to front, until your fudge pine cone is covered with almonds. For the most realistic look, use only whole pieces of almond, and try to tilt them forward (instead of having them stick straight up and down). Once all of the pine cones are decorated, refrigerate the tray to set them briefly, for about 15 minutes.

How to Make Chocolate Pine Cones | OhNuts.com

Your pine cones are now finished–how great do they look?! You can place them on cakes, cupcakes, tarts, or use them as an edible place setting! They’re a little delicate, since the almonds are prone to breaking if handled roughly, so I recommend using a spatula or knife to transfer them instead of grabbing them by hand.

How to Make Chocolate Pine Cones | OhNuts.com

As always, an easily printable recipe and pin-able image are below. And don’t miss some of these other Oh Nuts Thanksgiving recipes: Cinnamon Bun Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge, and DIY Chocolate Turkeys. Enjoy!

Chocolate Pine Cones
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This recipe can be easily halved, if you don't need a large number of pine cones. It can also be doubled, if you want to make an entire forest of chocolate pine cones!
Author:
Serves: 36
Ingredients
  • 18 oz (3 cups) chocolate chips
  • 14 oz (1 standard can) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 oz unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp almond extract (can substitute vanilla or another flavor of your choice)
  • ½ cup milk chocolate wafers
  • 3 cups sliced natural raw almonds
Instructions
  1. Combine the chocolate chips, condensed milk, butter, salt, and almond extract in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for one minute, then stir well. If some of the chocolate chips haven't melted, microwave in 20-second increments, stirring every time, until the mixture is entirely melted and smooth.
  2. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the chocolate, and let it sit and firm up enough to roll—about 2 hours at room temperature, or 45 minutes in the refrigerator. If it gets too cool it will be difficult to work with, so if possible I like to let it sit at room temperature just to be safe.
  3. Use a cookie scoop to form balls of dough about 1½-inches—you should get about 36 pinecones of this size. If you want to use a ¼-cup scoop, you'll get pinecones about 3-4 inches long, and you should get about 15 of this size. Whichever size you choose, place your scoops on a baking sheet covered with waxed paper or parchment.
  4. Roll the fudge between your palms into an oval shape. Gently pinch one end so that it comes to a subtle point and has a pine cone shape.
  5. Melt the milk chocolate wafers in the microwave, and stir until smooth. Dip one side of the bottom of a sliced almond in the melted coating, and press it against the back of one of the fudge pine cones. Dip a second sliced almond, then place it next to the first one, overlapping it slightly. Continue to add sliced almonds in an overlapping pattern, working back to front, until your fudge pine cone is covered with almonds. For the most realistic look, use only whole pieces of almond, and try to tilt them forward (instead of having them stick straight up and down).
  6. Once all of the pine cones are decorated, refrigerate the tray to set them briefly, for about 15 minutes. Place them on cakes, cupcakes, tarts, or use them as an edible place setting! They're a little delicate, since the almonds are prone to breaking if handled roughly, so I recommend using a spatula or knife to transfer them instead of grabbing them by hand.

 

Chocolate Pine Cones made with chocolate fudge and almonds -beautiful!

 

All text and images (c) Elizabeth LaBau

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