Pignoli Cookies

4.51 from 110 votes

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These gorgeous Pignoli Cookies are a tradition in every Italian household. Made from a few simple ingredients, they are even naturally gluten-free. So let’s take a journey to 🇮🇹 Italy with my easy and delicious Pignoli Cookies recipe! These traditional Italian almond cookies are coated in crunchy pine nuts and they strike the perfect balance between chewy and crispy.

Why You’ll Love Pignoli Cookies

You’re going to fall in love with my Pignoli Cookies for their minimal ingredients and effortless prep. These beautiful cookies 🍪have the perfect blend of richness from the almond paste and crunch from the pine nuts. You’ll enjoy a hassle-free baking experience, that will give you a chewy inside and crispy outside. Whether you’re making these for a special occasion or a simple treat, these cookies bring the joy of authentic Italian flavor to your fingertips. Buon appetito!

How to Prepare Pignoli Cookies

🔥 Preheat the oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

🔪 Open the almond paste tube, cut it into pieces or break it apart, and then process it in a food processor until it’s fully broken apart.

🌟 Take the food processor lid off and add the sugars (granulated and powdered) and process until combined.

🥚 Finally, add the egg whites, salt, and almond extract and process until a sticky, cookie-like batter forms (it will be a lot like a paste). Add almond flour a little at a time if it’s too thin.

🍪 Take a mini ice cream scoop or a measuring spoon and roll the dough into balls and then dip each ball into the pine nuts.

🥛 Place them on the baking sheet and gently press down with the flat side of a measuring cup or the bottom of a mug.

♨️ Bake for about 16-20 minutes, depending on the oven, until the bottoms of the cookies are golden.

❄️ Let the cookies cool and sprinkle with icing sugar. Enjoy!

Nonna’s Tip

If the almond cookie batter is too loose you can add 1/4 cup of almond flour at a time until a tacky dough forms. Sometimes the consistency of the batter depends on how big/small the egg white is.

Pignoli Cookies

Variations and Substitutions for Pignoli Cookies

You can certainly mix and match these variations based on your preferences, dietary needs, or the occasion. Enjoy the creative process of making these Pignoli Cookies your own!

  1. Feel free to add a bit of ground cinnamon or nutmeg to the dough.
  2. Swap out the pine nuts for other nuts such as chopped almonds, 🌰 hazelnuts, or pistachios.
  3. You could drizzle the cookies with melted dark or white 🍫 chocolate after baking.
  4. If you’re looking for added flavor, you could include some finely grated orange or 🍋lemon zest in the cookie dough.
  5. Add some festive sprinkles to your cookies for Christmas 🎄 or other holidays.

Other Holiday Cookies

My 3 Ingredient Sugar Cookies are simple and delicious as well!

Product Image Product Name / Primary Rating / Price Primary Button Description
Nonna's Pick
  • Description:

    Almond extract is an essential component in a lot of my baking. Simply Organic is a great quality brand so I highly recommend it.

In this recipe
  • Description:

    This is the exact almond paste I use for this recipe!

Our Pick
  • Description:

    Use these pine nuts in my Pignoli cookies or any of my pesto recipes!

Kitchen Must Have
  • Description:

    A great food processor is an essential appliance in my kitchen. This is one of my favorite brands.

Hot Item
  • Description:

    Baking sheets are essential in the kitchen. These are great!

My Favorite Parchment Paper
  • Description:

    This is the parchment paper that I use for all my recipes!

Nonna's Pick
4.8
$12.17 ($3.03 / Fl Oz)
Description:

Almond extract is an essential component in a lot of my baking. Simply Organic is a great quality brand so I highly recommend it.

In this recipe
5.0
$6.49 ($0.93 / Ounce)
Description:

This is the exact almond paste I use for this recipe!

Our Pick
5.0
$15.00 ($1.88 / Ounce)
Description:

Use these pine nuts in my Pignoli cookies or any of my pesto recipes!

Kitchen Must Have
4.9
$249.95
Description:

A great food processor is an essential appliance in my kitchen. This is one of my favorite brands.

Hot Item
4.9
$29.99 ($10.00 / Count)
Description:

Baking sheets are essential in the kitchen. These are great!

My Favorite Parchment Paper
3.5
$10.23$5.49
Description:

This is the parchment paper that I use for all my recipes!

03/19/2024 10:40 pm GMT

Common Questions

What if the batter isn’t thick enough?

Depending on the size of your egg, the cookie batter may be too loose, so you can add 1/4 cup of almond flour at a time until a tacky dough forms.

How do I store Pignoli Cookies?

Store Pignoli Cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. For longer storage, you can freeze them for about 2-3 months.

Where can I get almond paste?

You can get almond paste at your local grocery store. It is also sold on Amazon or other online retailers.

How do I ensure the perfect Texture?

Baking the cookies for an extended period will yield a crispier texture, and they will continue to firm up further as time passes post-baking. To achieve soft and chewy Pignoli Cookies, I recommend baking them until the pine nuts just begin to take on a golden hue or the cookies have lightly golden bottoms.

Pignoli Cookies

Pignoli Cookies

You're going to fall in love with my Pignoli Cookies for their minimal ingredients and effortless prep. These beautiful cookies have the perfect blend of richness from the almond paste and crunch from the pine nuts.
4.51 from 110 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 13 Cookies
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 200 grams almond paste, (7oz)
  • cup granulated white sugar , (70grams)
  • cup powdered sugar, (50grams)
  • 1 egg-white , medium
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract, optional
  • 1 cup pine nuts , (160 grams) for rolling

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Open the almond paste tube, cut it into pieces or break it apart, and then process it in a food processor until it’s fully broken apart.
  • NOTE: I purchased mine at the grocery store but the one I linked is the exact same brand I used. Be careful when purchasing on Amazon though as the quality is not always the same. I would recommend getting almond paste at the grocery store.
  • Take the food processor lid off and add the sugars (granulated and powdered) and process until combined.
  • Finally, add the egg whites, salt, and almond extract and process until a sticky, cookie-like batter forms (it will be a lot like a paste). You should be able to roll it into a ball.
  • NOTE: If the batter is too thin (this can happen depending on the size of the egg) add a little bit of almond flour at a time to the food processor until you have the right consistency.
  • Take a mini ice cream scoop or a measuring spoon and roll the dough into balls and then dip each ball into the pine nuts. I make sure my palms are wet so that the cookies don't stick and roll easily.
  • Place the cookies on the baking sheet and gently press down with the flat side of a measuring cup or my hand. I make sure that my palm or measuring cup is a bit wet so that the cookies don't stick to you as you press.
  • Bake for about 16-20 minutes, depending on the oven, until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly golden.
  • Let the cookies cool and sprinkle with icing sugar. Enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 174kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 9mg, Potassium: 114mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 3IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 28mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My first time making these cookies and they are delicious! I opted not to use the almond extract and the cookies were full of almond flavor. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    1. You’re welcome, Linda! Thank you for letting me know about the extract, it’s helpful for other bakers! Appreciate your rating. ❤️😊

  2. These just didn’t work for me.
    No matter how long I baked them the the inside were mushy and stuck to the paper. I made the recipe twice but neither time worked. Tips?

    1. Hi Christine, I wonder if it was the ingredients used here. What brand of almond paste did you use? If it was sticky then you could ass a little almond flour at a time.

  3. in no way shape or form on this recipe did you put MARZIPAN instead of almond paste. Marzipan and almond paste ARENT THE SAME. it was a nightmare putting the almond paste you specifically linked on this recipe into the food processor and me standing there for 20 minutes scraping it waiting for it to crumble (had to add the sugar, say a prayer and blend it for forever). be mindful making this recipe and do not buy the linked almond paste unless you want to never make this recipe ever again.

    1. I have never been more confused by a review. I have NOT stated anywhere in the recipe to use MARZIPAN. I don’t know what you purchased, but what I linked is the exact brand I used. I bought mine from the store.