Pignoli Cookies (Italian Pine Nut Cookies)

Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 15 mins

These are a traditional Italian Christmas cookie, that are chewy, almondy and delicious! We always have a bunch of these cookies on hand around the holidays in my family. **Please note, that the dough will be very sticky and a lil bit of a pain to work with, but they end up being so worth the effort. Adding flour to this dough changes the texture of them somewhat, so I never add it, but that's a personal choice :) These cookies end result are just like I had them as a little girl, and are my absolute favorite!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (or just lightly grease them).
  2. Crumble the almond paste into a mixing bowl and beat with handheld mixer until crumbled fine.
  3. Sprinkle the sugar over the almond paste while continuing to beat, until the sugar is incorporated.
  4. Beat in the egg whites, one at a time and continue beating until the dough is smooth.
  5. Spread the pine nuts out on a plate.
  6. Roll 1 tablespoon of the dough at a time, into a ball between your palms, and then roll it in the pine nuts to coat on all sides.
  7. Transfer to the prepared cookie sheets and press them lightly to flatten slightly and to help the nuts adhere to the cookies.
  8. Bake the cookies until they are lightly browned ans soft and springy, about 15 minutes.
  9. Cool completely on wire racks, and dust liberally with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy!


Most Helpful

While visiting my aunt in NY she bought these at an Italian bakery. I tried these at home for Christmas...and they were fantastic! Expensive to make, but wonderful. Moist and chewy center with a crispy crust. :)

B&B Bonnie December 21, 2008

I made these cookies for the holidays and they were a huge hit! I cut down the sugar a bit (a cup and a quarter) and I needed to add flour to make it even close to a dough. I had more of a batter otherwise. I didn't realize how much they would expand when baking. I used a heaping teaspoon for each cookie, but next time I might use more of an exact teaspoon. Everyone loved them and these will once again become a staple on our holiday dessert menu.

Citta28 December 05, 2008

I made this recipe using my own recipe for almond paste. The cookie turned out great, chewy and tasty. The battern does get messy though. I used a one teaspoon measuring scope, dumped it into the nuts and using a spatula pushed it onto the tray. Your directions were just right. They do spread and get big, and only bake about 15 min. they tend to brown very easily. I'm curious how they will taste once they are out of the freezer. Even though the batter is messy, the shapes are all consistent once they are baked. I could not stop eating them. I'm wondering how they would be with blanched almonds. I would love to make them crescent shape but dough is too messy to play with. Its a keeper! Thank.

darakelian February 20, 2008

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