Relying mostly on a recipe from the Boreal Gourmet, A and I took some of our recently gathered spruce tips (actually, douglas-fir in our case) and made shortbread.
Removing the "paper", the brown capsule around the tip, is a bit time consuming but not onerous, akin to removing elderberry stems or shelling peas. The flavor from the fir tips when chopped very finely with sugar is quite interesting. A bit of pine (unsurprising), lemon, and a hint of raspberry (!). The flavor is long lasting but doesn't express itself right up front.
I'd say these would be fantastic Christmas cookies- a little bit of spice and fruit with a nice green garnish. We used:
1/4 c (packed) doug fir tips, papery brown husks removed and minced very fine is a food processor with 1/2 c plus 1 T sugar
1 cup of butter
2 1/4 c flour
and 1/4 t salt
Baked at 325 F until light brown. Reserve a tablespoon of spruce sugar to sprinkle over the top of the cookies.
Worth collecting some tree limbs for the cookies alone, salmon and spruce to follow.