Italian Pignoli Cookies

Site Index Christmas cookies Cookies Pignoli cookies

This post may contain affiliate links. See my privacy policy for details.

These delicious pignoli cookies have a soft, chewy almond-flavored inside, with a crispy, toasted pine nut coated exterior. Made with a food processor, these cookies are so simple to make at home.

For more great cookie recipes, why not make these Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies? Or these Banana Oatmeal Cookies instead?

Italian pignoli cookies in a stack

Italian Pignoli Cookies

Pignoli, meaning pine nuts, are a unique cookie made from a combination of egg whites and almond paste, along with a good amount of sugar and then topped with plenty of pine nuts.

The textural contrast that the cookie provides, both soft and moist in the cookie, yet crunchy and brittle on the exterior thanks to the pine nuts, is incomparable to any other cookie in the world.

Despite how fancy they might appear, they are so incredibly simple to make at home, just as long as you have a convenient food processor.                                                                                                         

Italian pignoli cookies on a tray

Italian Pignoli Cookies Ingredients

Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.

• Almond paste

• White sugar

• Icing sugar

• Salt

• Egg whites

• Pine nuts

• Confectioner’s sugar

Italian pignoli cookies ingredients

How To Make Italian Pignoli Cookies

• Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper

• Grind the almond paste and granulated sugar into a food processor, processing until smooth

• Add in the powdered sugar, salt and 2 egg whites and process until smooth

• Scrape the dough out into a medium bowl and refrigerate covered for 30 minutes

• Whisk the remaining 2 egg whites in a small bowl and set aside

• Place the pine nuts on a shallow plate next to the egg whites, and then a cookie sheet next to it

• Lightly flour your hands and then roll the dough into 1 inch balls

• Coat each dough ball in egg whites, shaking off any excess

• Roll them in the pine nuts, pressing them lightly to stick

• Arrange the balls on cookie sheets 2 inches apart

• Bake for 15 minutes at 325 Fahrenheit

Italian pignoli cookies on a wire baking rack

How To Get Great Flavor From All Of your Ingredients

This recipe for Italian Pignoli cookies makes for a really delectable series of different flavors and textures, but there is also a lot of room for creating even more flavor through the careful choice of your ingredients.

For starters, you should try and get only the highest quality ingredients that you can. This means buying some really good quality, high-end almond paste, as well as getting the freshest pine nuts you can find.

While pine nuts are sold in these convenient little shaker tins at the supermarket, if you can find a market stall at a farmer’s market selling some fresh pine nuts, absolutely go with them instead.

Furthermore, why not try lightly toasting the pine nuts first? You don’t want to cook them too much, as the cookies do still bake in the oven first, but giving the pine nuts a light toasting in a dry pan for about 1 minute can really help create a lot of unique flavors and smoky aromas.

Finally, make sure to only use really fresh eggs in this recipe. Seeing as the egg whites are a big part of both the flavor and texture of this cookie, accidentally using slightly expired eggs is going to be noticeable.

That distinctive eggy smell that many people find disagreeable actually comes from the egg whites when they start to go off, so make sure to only use the freshest eggs you can find, ideally from a farmer’s market if you can find one.

Italian pignoli cookies in a stack

How To Store Pignoli Cookies

The great thing about these cookies is how well they stay fresh and crunchy, yet moist on the inside, even after several days. This makes a lot of sense because many things that have their origin in Southern Italy need to be able to stand up well to warm temperatures and resist deteriorating before they can be enjoyed.

The way to keep them good on the counter is to keep them in a tightly sealed, airtight container. To stop the cookies from falling apart or the tops from oxidizing too much, make sure to lay sheets of wax paper or parchment paper in between each layer of cookies. This will help them be fresh and presentable at the same time.

For freezing these cookies, freeze them in a single layer on a baking tray in the freezer for about an hour or two, or until they firm up. From there, place them in a big, freezer-safe bag to allow them to completely freeze.

This process stops the cookies from sticking together in the freezer, and lets you take a cookie out one at a time from the bag to enjoy whenever you want!

Make sure to let them completely thaw at room temperature before eating, otherwise, you might crack your teeth on the pine nuts!

Looking for more delicious Cookie recipes? Try these out:

Crispy Butterscotch Cookies

The Best Glazed Orange Cookies

Cowboy Cookies

Enjoy!

Love,

Karlynn

PIN THIS RECIPE to your CHRISTMNAS COOKIE RECIPES Boards and Remember to FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST!

These pignoli cookies have a soft, chewy almond flavored inside with a crispy, toasted pine nut coated exterior and are made with a food processor.

Thanks to ads on this website, readers of The Kitchen Magpie are now sponsoring 2 families a month through the Edmonton Food Bank. Learn how you can help here.

Learn to cook like the Kitchen Magpie

a copy of Flapper Pie cook book

Flapper Pie and a Blue Prairie Sky

A Modern Baker’s Guide to Old-Fashioned Desserts

Learn More

The Prairie Table

Suppers, Potlucks & Socials: Crowd-Pleasing Recipes to Bring People Together

Learn More

Subscribe to The Kitchen Magpie on YouTube

One click and you'll get notified of new videos added to our YouTube account!

Subscribe on YouTube

Italian Pignoli Cookies

These pignoli cookies have a soft, chewy almond flavored inside with a crispy, toasted pine nut coated exterior and are made with a food processor.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Courses
Christmas Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine
Italian
Servings
24
Calories
140
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients
 

  • 12 ounces almond paste
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 cup powdered/icing sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups pine nuts
  • confectioners' sugar for dusting optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325 °F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place the almond paste and granulated sugar into a food processor, then process until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar. salt and 2 egg whites and process until smooth again.
  • Scrape the dough out of the food processor and into a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Whisk the remaining 2 egg whites in small bowl and set aside.
  • Place the pine nuts on shallow plate next to the egg whites, then place a cookie sheet beside it to form a working line. Lightly flour your hands then roll the dough into 1 inch balls.
  • Coat each dough ball in egg whites, shaking off excess, then roll in the pine nuts, pressing lightly to stick.
  • Arrange the balls on cookie sheets 2 inches apart.
  • Bake 15 to 18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned.
  • Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  • Dust with a small amount of powdered sugar if desired.

Recipe Notes

If you find that the dough is too sticky to roll into bowls, add in some almond flour until the dough can be rolled into the one inch balls!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 140kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 34mg, Potassium: 103mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 2IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

Made this recipe?

Share a photo of what you made on Instagram or Facebook and tag me @thekitchenmagpie or hashtag it #thekitchenmagpie.

Please rate this recipe in the comments below to help out your fellow cooks!

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Site Index Christmas cookies Cookies Pignoli cookies

Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment or Recipe Tip

Recipe Rating




Comfort Food

Grandma's Favorite Comfort

Foods for 2022!

Thank

You!

USE COUPON CODE 

WELCOME20

Follow us on Facebook