These Italian Pignoli Cookies are a traditional southern Italian sweet. So soft and chewy with an almond flavor; believe me, these cookies need to be on your holiday cookie tray or in your cookie jar.
What is a Pignoli?
Pignoli is the Italian translation for pine nuts or pine kernels. Often, referred to as a nut, the Pignoli or pine nut is actually a seed. Note, If you have nut allergies, you may need to be cautious of eating them.
This edible seed comes from certain varieties of pine trees, and as you may know, can be pricy. This is due to, the time and effort required to harvest them.
Italian Pignoli Cookies and more
You can use pine nuts, aka Pignoli in savory dishes such as a topping for roasted veggies, pizza or salad. Another, well known use is as a key ingredient in pesto sauce.
Creamy, teardrop-shaped Pignoli can also be enjoyed in a variety of sweet creations such as pastry or candy. In fact, Pignoli cookies are very much a part of my sweet childhood food memories. Today, I love making them for my kids, especially during the holidays. They make a wonderful addition to any cookie platter.
You will need
- 1lb. Almond paste, crumbled
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, and a bit more for dusting
- 2 large Egg whites
- 1 tsp. Almond extract
- 3/4 tsp. Salt
- 3/4 cup Pine Nuts
Directions for Italian Pignoli Cookies
- To begin, I line my baking sheets with parchment paper, while preheating my oven to 350°
- Using the paddle attachment on my stand mixer, I make sure to get the almond paste finely ground.
- Switching to a slower speed, I add the powdered sugar along with the egg whites, almond extract and salt. Beating until the mixture is well combined.
- Because the mixture is thick, you can use a pastry bag or a cookie scoop, like I do.
- Place Pignoli or pine nuts in a shallow dish.
- Press one side of the scooped dough into the Pignoli or pine nuts, and then place it, nut side up, on the parchment paper.
- Bake for approximately 12 minutes and afterwards, don’t forget to dust the finished cookies with the remaining powdered sugar.
Moppina and Wooden Spoon Kitchen Talk
- As a matter of fact, I have a “shall remain nameless” family member that doesn’t care for pine nuts. So, I suggest making a few cookies without them. Trust me, they will still taste great.
- For a grown up treat, serve with a steamy cappuccino or espresso.
- Check out more great recipes Inside the Recipe Box.
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