Monday, September 10, 2012

Pignoli Cookies

OH MY GAWD.  These cookies are addictive.  Go make these right now.  You may want to double the recipe. 

I'm working with a dentist who hales from Long Island, and he brought back some pignoli cookies after his last trip for us to try.  I have heard of pignoli cookies before, but I never thought I'd be interested because they are covered with nuts.  I don't know why...I like other goodies with nuts...

Well I ate one.

And then two.

And by 5 o'clock that day, I had eaten FIVE!!!!!!!!!  This is a super big deal for me since I shouldn't be eating this crap.  So then I decided I would make them.  Why?  Because that takes all the special-ness out of them--knowing I can make them any time!  So today I made them, and like a 'normal' non-food addict person would do, I ate two today.  And also it makes me feel better confessing.  It's a great deterrant to eating more pignoli cookies.

I took this picture so you could see what the almond paste looked like.  There were two choices.  The other was a longer thin box, 7 ounces and a $1.50 more!  The good part of this recipe, nutritionally speaking, is that there are only 3 tablespoons of white flour.  The base of the cookie is the almond paste.  Next time I make these, I will roll the dough in some chopped toasted almonds.

Got to use my new silpats.  Love them.  They will cut down from all the parchment paper waste!

Pignoli Cookies
  • 7 ounces almond paste
  • 1/2cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2cup confectioner's sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4c pine nuts
Yields 18 cookies.
Pine nuts are known as pignoli in Italy.  Almond paste is available in specialty food stores and most supermarkets; do not substitute marzipan.

Preheat the oven to 350F, with racks in center and lower third.  Line two large baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat almond paste and both sugars on medium speeed until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 2 minutes.  Add egg whites and vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until a smooth paste forms 3-4 minutes. Add flour and salt; beat until combined, about 1 minute.  Dough will be very soft and tacky.

Place pine nuts in a small bowl.  Scoop out about a tablespooon of dough; using dampened fingers, drop dough into pine nuts, coating one side.  Transfer rounds, coated side up, to prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Repeat with remaining dough.  FIll in any bare spots on rounds with remaining pine nuts.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges of cookies and pine nuts have turned golden brown, 13-15 minutes.  Transfer cookies on parchment to a wire rack to cool completely.  Using an offset spatula, carefully loosen from parchment paper.  Using a fine sieve, dust cookies with confectioners' sugar.  Cookies can be kept, stacked between layers of waxed or parchment paper, in an airtight container at room temerature for up to 4 days.

My notes:
  1. I used the whole can of paste (8 ounces) and should have measured, using 7 ounces like the directions say. Duh! That's why there are directions.  I think this made my cookies seem underbaked.  I left them on the pans to cool so they could cook a little longer before transferring them to the wire rack.
  2. I didn't bother with the dusting of confectioners' sugar.  I thought this would make them less authentic.  The Long Island cookies I ate did not have any confectioners' sugar on them.
  3. It did make 18 cookies just like the directions said, but next time I'll make them smaller.
This post is in the link party over on InsideBruCrewLife. Go check out her site!

Source: Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook


  1. Wow, I've never heard of Pignoli cookies! These look very interesting; I shall have to try them out. I'm the same as you, I try not to eat all the baked goods I make! I'm trying to find a local organization to donate all my baked goods to because it's getting to be too much for my family and coworkers!! lol

  2. ohhhh almond past and pine nuts! Yum! They look so interesting. I bet it is a hearty cookie. I've started making recipes that feed two or something that freezes well so I can make people take it with them when they come over :)

  3. I have never heard of these cookies before, but they look really really good. Hooray for using a Silpat!!!

  4. I love almond and I love pine these must be delicious! Thanks for explaining what almond paste is, I've never heard of it before.