Pignoli (aka pine nut) cookies are a staple of the Christmas holiday for families across the country. According to Serious Eats, pignoli cookies originated in Sicily where the best pine nuts and almonds grow in the hills of the “boot” and came across the pond in the late 1800’s when as many as 100,000 Sicilian immigrants settled in the U.S. If you have a good local Italian bakery near you, I highly suggest seeking some out!
Pignoli cookies couldn’t be simpler or more delicious. I have made them as a gift for my fiancee’s father two years in a row now and he absolutely loves them. He has said that they are just as good as the bakery’s which I take as a high complement considering before making them, I had actually never tried them from a bakery. Luckily for me, this recipe could not be easier. A small handful of ingredients, a quick mix and even quicker bake and you’ll have yourselves a classic holiday treat!
Recipe via Epicurious
- 2 8 oz. cans almond paste
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, plus more for dusting
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ~1 cup pine nuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, coarsely crumble the almond paste. Pulse lightly to crumble further. Add the confectioners sugar and continue to pulse until the mixture is finely ground.
Add the almond paste mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and add the egg whites and honey. Whip on medium speed with the whisk attachment, for about five minutes, until the dough is smooth, thick and sticky.
Transfer the dough to a piping bag and pipe 1 to 1 1/2 inch dollops onto parchment lined baking sheets. The cookies don’t spread too much so you can pipe them relatively close to each other. Top each cookie with 3-5 pine nuts.
Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, for 12-15 minutes. When golden brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. When cool, dust with powdered sugar and enjoy! They should be lightly crisp on the outside and soft and chewy in the center!
Cheers and enjoy! Hope you all had wonderful holidays!