We know you’re probably spending a lot of time planning your holiday feast, even if you aren’t hosting that many people—if any at all! That’s the nature of the Italian home cook. No gathering is too small for a robust meal cooked with love. And part of that meal—and every meal, no matter the time of year—is dessert.
Pignoli cookies made with toasty pine nuts are one of our all-time favorite sweet treats. We bake them for platters filled with various Italian cookies, and also to store in tins and give as gifts. The key to amazing Pignoli Cookies, besides pine nuts, is almond paste. This confectionery ingredient complements the pine nuts, transforms the flavor of the cookie, and also helps them to brown evenly. And the recipe we’ve developed is so easy—check it out!
Yield: 14 cookies Total: About 40 minutes Active: 15 minutes
To mix the ingredients, you can either use a food processor or do it by hand. If using a food processor, pulse the almond paste and powdered sugar until it reaches a coarse consistency. Add the egg white, honey, and salt and pulse until it forms a smooth, thick batter. This should take about 1 minute.
If you’d rather do it by hand, first combine and mix the almond paste and powdered sugar in a medium bowl until crumbly. Then, beat in the egg white, add the salt, and the honey, mixing until the batter forms.
Though you only need the egg white for this recipe, don’t toss that egg yolk! You can use the spare yolk to make a luscious carbonara, French buttercream, and so much more. Waste not, want not.
Place the pine nuts in a small bowl. Scoop the batter, a tablespoonful at a time, and roll into a ball. Gently toss each ball of batter in the pine nuts to coat. Roll these pine nut-covered balls lightly in your hands, and transfer each one to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Be sure not to crowd them too close together!
Bake the cookies until you achieve a golden brown color and the edges are firm. This will take anywhere from 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven.
Let them cool completely before serving. Even better, store them in an airtight container at room temperature overnight before eating.
These cookies taste best when made ahead of time. Try to cook them 5 days before you plan on serving.
Paesana means friendship, warmth and caring, which is what our family is all about. That’s why we honor our great-grandmother to reflect pride in our family’s Italian heritage. One taste and you’ll discover our sauces and condiments are like no other – Created from the finest quality ingredients!