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(Makes about 24 cookies)
8 ounces almond paste 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar 1/4 cup flour 2 egg whites (about 6 tablespoons) 1/2 cup pine nuts
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Break the almond paste into small pieces; place the pieces in a food processor. Add the granulated and confectioners' sugars and the flour. Pulse until the mixture is finely ground. Begin to add the egg whites, a little at a time, just until the dough comes together. You may not need to add all of the egg whites.
Place the pine nuts in a small bowl. With slightly wet hands, roll the dough into 1-inch balls. One by one, press each dough ball into the nuts, flattening them slightly and getting the nuts to adhere to the dough. Only the tops of the cookies will have nuts on them.
Place the cookies 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Slightly flatten the tops of the cookies. Bake 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven. Allow cookies to cool completely on the baking sheets,. Do not remove them immediately or they will fall apart.
When cool, remove and store in an airtight container. If desired, dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.
Variation: Chocolate-Almond Cookies Follow the directions for Pignoli Cookies above. Add 1/2 cup cocoa when you add the sugars. Roll cookies in sliced almonds instead of pine nuts.
Pignoli or pine nut cookies are the crown jewel of traditional Italian cookies. They have an incredibly dense texture and a strong almond flavor because they are made with almond paste and very little flour. Pignoli cookies are rolled in pine nuts to add that perfect crunch to this rich-tasting cookie.
The pine nut is actually the tiny, cream-colored seed of a certain species of pine tree. Pine nuts , sold shelled, raw or roasted, have a rich buttery flavor and add a nice crunch to many foods, included baked goods, pasta, and salads.
Some simple ways to enjoy pine nuts:
1. Add toasted pine nuts to salads 2. Sprinkle into soups for added crunch 3. Include in pancake and waffle batters 4. Sprinkle on vegetable pizzas 5. Add to pasta dishes