Eating Dogwood (Cornus) Fruit...Specifically Cornus mas, a.k.a. Cornelian Cherry - Cookies!

 Did you know Dogwood berries are edible?  There is one that has lots of large fruits and is called a Cornelian Cherry even though it is not a Cherry, but rather a first cousin of the American Dogwood. 

These bright, abundant, zesty fruits are commonly used in Persian cuisine, but little known in the States.  They are known as zoghal akhteh.  You can find many great recipes online by utilizing that name.

These were ripe in early August here in Virginia.  They can be found in the landscape, or grow your own by purchasing one from a nursery.  I will include a bunch of pictures at the end of this blog to help with your identifying the tree.

Zesty, lemony cookies without lemon.  I imagine with this color, that these berries are full of Lycopene, a healthy antioxidant.  You can cook a bit longer if you wish for a harder, crunchier cookie and a browner color.

Here is how to make these pink cookies!

Preheat 375 degrees

Mix all:
1 1/2 c. Cornelian Cherry puree (I made this by running them through a mill).  You could just remove the seeds by hand.  I did this anyway after making the puree as I wanted to utilize the skin not waste it (the mill holds back both the seeds and skin, leaving you with puree - which is perfect for these cookies as they are soft and not fibrous). You can see how I utilized the skins here.
1 c. raw sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. chia seeds
1/2 c. hemp seeds
2 1/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tspn. baking soda
(you can add an egg or two if you want more of a cake, then just pour it all into one pan and bake longer).

Bake on greased cookie sheet, 8-12 minutes.

Using the food mill to make the puree, separating out the fruit from the seed and skin.

The seeds got put outside to feed the wild life.

Look at THAT COLOR!!

With the Chia seeds, it reminds me of a strawberry, similar taste too.

These do not grow wild, but can be foraged in the landscape nonetheless.  Just make sure they weren't sprayed with toxic chemicals.  They can get up to 25' tall and grow in either a tree or shrub form depending on how they were initially pruned.

Here is a small tree, and this one is somewhat young - but with abundant fruiting nonetheless. 

Native to Asia and Europe; it has been cultivated for its beauty and edible fruits since ancient times.

Note typical Dogwood look, opposite leaves, simple, ovate, entire, around 2 to 4 inches long and about 2 ½ inches wide.

The ripe fruit falls into your hand easily or can be found by picking up those already fallen.

Ripe fruit, unripe, and over-ripe can all be found on the tree at the same time.  

Shrub form blooming in late winter, early Spring - March in Virginia.

Close-up of the flower.  The honeybees love it if they get a day that's warm enough for them to be out.

Good luck finding this delectable fruit.  Superfruit for the picking!

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