Pignoli Amaretti (pine Nut Cookies)

"My most favorite cookies in the world!!! Very expensive to buy in an Italian bakery and this recipe is the best I've ever tasted. I love baking Italian cookies of all kinds, but these are my specialty. When breaking up almond paste it's always nice to have someone sit and do it with you. I usually use that time to chat with my kids. My sister did it with me once too."
photo by tonymaietta photo by tonymaietta
photo by tonymaietta
photo by Kim D. photo by Kim D.
photo by Kim D. photo by Kim D.
Ready In:
50 cookies




  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Break up almond paste into pebble-like pieces Combine almond paste, sugar, confectioner's sugar and egg whites in electric mixer on low speed until blended.
  • Increase speed to medium and continue mixing for 2 minutes.
  • The dough should be sticky now.
  • Keep a bowl of water near by to dip your fingers in before rolling each cookie.
  • This will keep the dough from sticking to your fingers.
  • Roll dough into one inch balls Roll balls around in Pine Nuts Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet lined with parchment or Silpat Lightly flatten each cookie Bake for 15-20 minutes Allow to cool completely before removing from parchment with a metal spatula.

Questions & Replies

Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. Clearly something is wrong - I was hoping for rounded cookies, but instead got the equivalent look of a choc chip cookie. Making it was a gooky mess - ugh. Went through more pine nuts. So very disappointed - had hoped to mimic the Vaccaro's cookies from Baltimore. No luck.
  2. This is my second time making these crispy, chewy cookies. They were a favorite of many on my cookie tray this past Christmas. My only alteration to this recipe was to toast the pine nuts in a dry pan and let cool before rolling the dough balls in them. I liberally dusted with powdered sugar after the cookies cooled. This recipe is in my "permanent file".
  3. My wife and I just returned from Italy and these have taken us back! These easy cookies are beautiful, delicious, and gluten free. Yes, the batter is sticky but the bowl of WARM water standing by helps a lot. I cut back on the sugar (used a little over a cup) and they are perfect. Chewy, addictive and great with espresso! Mille Grazie!
  4. Made these again this year. Quite possibly one of the very best cookies on the planet, if you like almonds. Tastes just like an Italian bakery. I dip the top of the cookie dough ball in pine nuts but don't roll the entire ball in them. I used a store-bought tub of pine nuts (4 oz) and that was enough for one recipe. This recipe will go in my permanent collection.
  5. I am sorry to say I did not enjoy these. I tried a pignoli from someone who brought them at work and fell in love with them. I sought out to find a recipe and decided to go with this one since it had the best reviews; however, I was disappointed. I followed the recipe precisely but found these unbearably sweet, and the bottoms of my pignoli were on the verge of burnt :[ I even made a second batch with less sugar and still found them too sweet for my taste.



Find More Recipes