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Pignoli Cookies

Photo by Frances Janisch

Maria says: “These pine nut cookies originated in Sicily. They are basically an almond macaroon covered in pine nuts.” This recipe is featured in Rachael’s latest book, Everyone is Italian on Sunday


  • 1 7-ounce tube of almond paste
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large free-range organic egg whites
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, finely ground
  • 10 ounces pignoli (pine nuts) (about 2 cups)


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Crumble the almond paste with your fingers into a bowl and mash with a fork into small crumbles. With an electric mixer on low speed, beat in the sugar and egg whites. When combined, increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the ground almonds. The mixture will be gooey.

Spread the pine nuts in a shallow bowl. Using a melon baller, scoop up some dough and drop it into the pine nuts. Quickly roll the dough in the nuts and immediately transfer to the prepared baking sheet (the balls will droop and flatten on the sheet). Repeat with the remaining dough.

Bake until lightly golden brown (take care not to burn the nuts), 15 to 20 minutes. The cookies will feel a little spongy when lightly touched. Let cool in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Rachael Ray