Home Recipes Pignoli Cookies (a.k.a. Pine Nut or Pinon Cookies)

Pignoli Cookies (a.k.a. Pine Nut or Pinon Cookies)

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Nearly 20 years ago I was handed one of the most delicious cookies I have ever tasted. Pinoli cookies have a unique flavor and texture. Totally different from what I have tasted before.

Pinon cookies stacked in black plate with blue cloth on wooden table

The restaurant where I first tasted these cookies did not share the recipe. They simply called them pinon cookies (aka pine nut cookies). Crunchy, chewy, sweet and nutty, these cookies are perfect for almond lovers.

pine nut cookies

I spent three years thinking about those cookies and wondering just how they were made. It was just a simple sugar cookie or shortbread.

Those cookies are certainly delicious, but they weren’t what I was looking for this time. I eventually found out that these pine nut cookies are most commonly known as Italian pinoli cookies or Italian pine nut cookies. They are called pinon cookies.

As you can imagine, after finally finding this recipe, I was very excited to share it with you.

I followed the recipe, tasted one of these cookies, and almost cried out with joy. The hunt is over. These Italian pine nut cookies taste just as good as I remembered them.

The recipes and methods below have been adapted very lightly and with great thanks Amazingly delicious.

Italian pinoli cookies on a plate, hand holding one

italian pinoli cookies

Over the past few years, I have shared these cookies with friends and family countless times.

This cookie always brings people back for ‘one more’ and I get a lot of recipe requests. And full disclosure, this is the cookie I can’t resist.

I made a batch a few weeks ago to share with a friend and I ended up eating at least six of them before I finally packed them up and shared them! It is a sweet and satisfying snack.

Pinon cookies stacked on a plate

The Pinoli Cookie is a perfect and unexpected addition to the traditional lineup of holiday and anytime cookies. We love traditional holiday treats like peppermint bark and fudge, but sometimes it’s nice to add something different to your rotation.

If you like these cookies, you’ll also enjoy Mexican Wedding Cookies and Feffernusse (German Pepper Nut Cookies).

Pine nut cookies made this way are, after all, completely gluten-free.

I’ve used gluten-free alternatives in place of wheat flour with great success, but it’s great if the recipe is already wheat and gluten free.

This recipe does not use any flour. The combination of egg whites and almond paste makes the pinoli cookies light and airy.

almond paste in food processor
Only 4 ingredients are needed to make these cookies.
  • almond paste
  • sugar
  • white meat
  • Pine nuts

If you’ve never baked with almond paste, you can find it in the baking aisles of well-stocked grocery stores. buy almond paste onlineIt comes in cans, boxes, or rolls and is very hard when opened.

almond paste and sugar in food processor

To use almond paste and incorporate it into your dough, you must first grind it into granules using a food processor.

This process will take several minutes. Almond paste is then mixed with sugar and ready to be mixed with beaten egg whites.

After chilling the pinoli dough, press a toasted pine nut over each cookie.

almond paste with sugar and egg whites

I repeat it here, especially for clarity. This recipe uses almond paste instead of marzipan or almond cake filling.

Almond paste can be found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.

The paste is very thick and requires a food processor to work with. The paste doesn’t mix with other ingredients until it’s broken into granules like the one pictured above.

Look specifically for almonds paste In the baking section of your favorite grocery store.

Be careful not to accidentally pick up the marzipan or almond cake filling. neither works. The almond paste, unlike both of them, is necessary to give the dough the proper texture.

Pine nut cookie dough on a parchment lined tray

Other almond desserts

I love desserts with almonds. From almond extract to almond flour, this versatile nut plays a key role in so many delicious treats.

With their shortbread texture and nutty flavor, these Scandinavian almond bars have been popular for some time.

A soft, buttery, slightly sweetened almond cake is a treat with your afternoon coffee or tea, but it’s the perfect dessert for any occasion.

A crunchy toasted brioche topped with jam and almonds results in an irresistible pastry called bostock. It may sound easy (and it’s easy to make), but once you’ve tasted it, you’re sure to tell everyone about it.

Check these too almond pillow cookie Noshery and almond lace wafer If you’re looking for almond cookies, The View From Great Island is the place to go.

If you’re a fan of nut cookies, you might also like toffee coconut pecan chocolate chip cookies and walnut cookies.

Looking for more gluten-free desserts? Check out all the gluten-free dessert recipes on this website!

Pine nut cookies on cooling rack

Have you ever eaten pine nut cookies?

I spent years thinking about the first pinon cookies I tried, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to finally find a recipe for pine nut cookies that exceeded my expectations. I can’t wait to hear how you like it!

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Serving: 30 cookie

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  • In a small dry skillet, roast the pine nuts over low heat until fragrant. set aside.

  • In the bowl of a food processor, grind the almond paste. Use the food processor’s pulse function for a few seconds at a time, scraping down the sides as needed. He adds the sugar in two steps, processing for a few seconds each time to mix.

  • In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the almond mixture into the egg whites, making sure the mixture is well blended. Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper (this is necessary for these cookies, they will stick to the baking sheet without it).

  • Drop the batter one teaspoon at a time onto the baking sheet. Press 8 to 10 pine nuts into the top of each cookie and press down slightly to flatten each ball of dough.

  • Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, removing from oven before cookies begin to brown. Cool on baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes before transferring to wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

This recipe uses almond paste instead of marzipan or almond cake filling. Almond paste can be found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. The paste is very thick and requires a food processor to work with. Pastes do not mix with other ingredients until they are broken into granules.

calorie: 60kcal · carbohydrate: 8g · protein: 1g · thick: 3g · saturated fat: 0.3g · Polyunsaturated fat: 1g · Monounsaturated fat: 2g · sodium: Fourmg · potassium: 34mg · fiber: 0.4g · sugar: 7g · Vitamin A: 0.3IU · Vitamin C: 0.02mg · calcium: 13mg · iron: 0.2mg

{First published 11/13/12 – recipe notes and photos updated 12/5/22}

italian pinoli cookies

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