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Italian Pignoli Cookies

Italian Pignoli Cookies

Italian Pignoli Cookies are classic Italian-American almond cookies studded with pine nuts.


  • 1 can (11 ounces) marzipan
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons almond extract or 3 to 4 drops bitter almond oil
  • 2 to 3 drops lemon oil, optional
  • 1/2 cup almond flour or very finely ground blanched or whole almonds
  • 1 egg white (jumbo or extra-large preferred)
  • 1 1/4 cups pignoli (pine nuts)


  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
  2. Break the marzipan in pieces into a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Mix in the sugar, salt, flavorings, and almond flour; the mixture will be crumbly.
  4. Add the egg white, beating until the mixture is smooth. If the dough doesn't come together, dribble in water, bit by bit, until it does.
  5. Place the pine nuts in a shallow dish. Using a teaspoon cookie scoop, or your lightly oiled or wet hands, drop 1-inch balls of dough into the pine nuts, rolling and pressing gently to coat them thoroughly. You may also simply grab a handful of pine nuts, and roll the dough between your palms, pressing in pine nuts as you go; the point is to cover the dough with nuts.
  6. Place the cookies on lightly greased or parchment-lined cookie sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them.
  7. Bake the cookies for 22 to 24 minutes, or until they're lightly browned.
  8. Remove them from the oven, and cool them on the pans for 5 minutes; then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Hands-on time: 15 mins. to 25 mins.
Baking time: 22 mins. to 24 mins.
Total time: 37 mins. to 49 mins.
Yield: about 34 cookies

Recipe and photo credit: King Arthur Flour.

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