Pignoli Cookies

Pignoli Cookies are traditional almond cookies rolled in pine nuts and served during the holiday season. They’re crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. If you are an almond lover, you will love these cookies. Once these cookies are piped and topped with pine nuts you will need to practice patience; they need to dry for at least 8 hours before baking and enjoying. They are worth the wait!

Yield: 44-48 cookies


  • 2 1/2 cups tightly packed almond paste, (not marzipan)
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs, egg whites only
  • 2 1/2 cups pine nuts


  1. Line bottom of four ungreased cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the almond paste, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon, honey and vanilla. Paddle at low-medium speed until the mixture is smooth with no lumps remaining, about 2 minutes.
  3. With the motor running, add the egg whites one at a time and mix until absorbed after each addition, about 30 seconds per addition. Scrape down bowl and mix another 30 seconds to insure no lumps remain.
  4. To pipe cookies: place a #6 plain tip in a pastry bad and pipe the dough out in 2-inch diameter circles that are about 1-1/2 inches high, leaving about 1-1/2 inches between circles, and create four staggered rows of three circles on each cookie sheet. Repeat on 3 remaining cookie sheets lined in parchment.
  5. On a separate cookie sheet, spread the pine nuts out in a single layer. Take one of the parchment sheets with piped circles of dough, slowly invert it over the nuts. Press down so the nuts adhere to the dough and remove, very gently shaking the parchment to loosen any extra pine nuts. Repeat with remaining piped cookies. Or, instead of dipping the piped cookies you can sprinkle the pine nuts over the piped cookie dough and press them into the dough to adhere.
  6. Leave the pine nut covered cookie dough circles out and uncovered at room temperature overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  7. To bake: preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake in two batches for about 20-25 minutes, or until cookies are nicely golden.
  8. Allow cookies to cool completely before removing from parchment paper.