feasting with friends

Pignoli {Pinenut} Cookies

pignoli {pinenut} cookies

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I love all things Italian. I grew up within a bike ride of an Italian bakery. I went there often in my youth! Cakes, cookies, cannoli and biscotti were some of the sweeter offerings. They also had homemade breads, pizza by the slice and, in the summer months, Italian ice. Delizioso!

pignoli {pinenut} cookies

Nowadays, it takes me close to an hour to reach that bakery. I still make the pilgrimage at least a few times a year. To sooth the cravings in between trips, I’ve managed to replicate a couple of the recipes. I make a lemon ricotta cookie very similar to the one offered at the bakery. And now, I can say I’ve mastered the pignoli cookie, too… Yay for me!

pignoli {pinenut} cookies

Baking wise, this is one of the easiest cookies to make. All you need is the right equipment… a food processor and an electric mixer. There is only 4 ingredients… yep… 4! Almond paste, granulated sugar, egg whites and pignoli. Like I said, easy.

pignoli {pinenut} cookies

The last day or so has been a baking bonanza. I’m getting some gift boxes of baked goods ready for delivery. This cookie will be included, as long as I can stay away from them! I’ve set some aside to take to this week’s Fiesta Friday celebration. I’m bringing extra, just for Angie, because she’s been such a gracious host! This week’s co-hosts are Indu @Indu’s International Kitchen and Jhuls @The Not So Creative Cook. Take some time this weekend to pop on over to The Novice Gardener’s to witness what everyone is sharing. I bet there is a recipe (or two or twelve) that would be perfect for your holiday gathering.

pignoli {pinenut} cookies

Pignoli Cookies

  • Servings: 18
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1/2 pound (8 ounce can) almond paste
1 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 cup pignoli


  1. Line a baking sheet(s) with parchment paper; set aside. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Use a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, to break the almond paste into a granulated form. Gradually add the sugar through the feeder tube, and process until well incorporated. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff (like a meringue); about 6-8 minutes depending on your mixer’s power.
  4. Fold the almond paste/sugar mixer into the egg whites, using a wooden spoon (not the mixer). Stir until meringue is fully mixed with the sugar mixer.
  5. Drop mixture, by the spoonful, onto parchment lined baking sheet(s). Press pignoli into the top of each cookie. Make sure they are “imbedded” in the dough. Cover the top of the cookies well. The cookies will expand, separating the pignoli.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Cool completely on wire racks before storing in an airtight container.

pignoli {pinenut} cookies pignoli {pinenut} cookies pignoli {pinenut} cookies pignoli {pinenut} cookies pignoli {pinenut} cookies


  1. Nancy, these cookies look absolutely delightful. And all your talk about italian bakery and pastries is making me crave for some italian pastry right now! Btw I had to look up what ‘pignoli’ meant? I was wondering if they were a variation of pine nuts. Almond paste and pine nuts in a cookie sounds simply delicious and so can I have a couple please? 🙂 Merry Christmas to you and have a happy holiday season! 🙂

  2. These cookies are the best! For me, it’s the almond paste. Feed me sweets with almond paste and I’ll follow you anywhere. At Christmas, Dad would bring home a box pignoli cookies and I was ecstatic. I couldn’t eat enough of them. I wonder if I’ve outgrown that obsession. I probably should bake a batch. You know, for research. 🙂

    • The almond paste certainly lends a delicious sweet flavor! I’d say a little research is required, John… if only to see if these cookies stack up to the ones your Dad brought home! Added bonus? … This recipe only makes about 18 cookies… not dozens and dozens to tempt you! Thanks, John and Merry Christmas!

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