Friday, November 19, 2010

Christine's Pignoli Cookies

If you're Italian, I don't have to explain what a Pignoli Cookie is. If not, it's that delicious chewy cookie that is covered in pine nuts. When you buy an assorted pound of Italian cookies at the bakery, you're lucky if they include 2 or 3 at most. A tease! It's the cookie that everyone grabs first.

For years, I wanted to know how to make these delicious little morsels. A special thanks to my niece, Christine. This was the easiest blog ever. Word for word.... all I did was copy and paste.

Christine's Pignoli Cookies 
  • 1 pound canned almond paste 
  • 1½ cups sugar 
  • 3 egg whites 
  • 1 cup pine nuts 
Arrange one rack in the upper third of the oven and the other in the lower third. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two sheets with parchment paper or grease them lightly.

Crumble the almond paste into a mixing bowl. Beat with a hand held electric mixer till finely crumbled. Sprinkle the sugar over the almond paste and continue beating until the batter is smooth. Beat in the egg whites one at a time and continue to beat until the batter is smooth. The batter can be formed into cookies at this point.

Spread the pine nuts out on a plate. Form one tablespoon of the batter into a ball by rolling it between your palms. Drop the dough ball onto the plate of pine nuts. When you have formed several dough balls, roll them in the pine nuts to coat lightly on all sides. Transfer them to the prepared pans and press them lightly to flatten them slightly and help the pine nuts adhere to the cookies. Repeat with the remaining batter and pine nuts.

Bake the cookies until lightly browned and soft and springy, about 15 minutes. Remove and cool completely on wire racks before serving. The cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to a week.

***If you don’t like pine nuts I have made these without ala Palermo Bakery. A few drops of red food coloring to turn the dough pink, make balls, add 1/2 a candied cherry on top. When you add the cherry, gently press down to flatten the cookie a bit.*** When I make it this way, it’s Nicole’s fave.


Christine with my son Marty at my niece Anne Marie's wedding.  Where did the time go, it seems like this pic was taken just a couple of minutes ago.

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