Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pignoli Cookies


These Italian pignoli cookies are my mother-in-law’s specialty. Actually I should not limit her to this one cookie as she is a fabulous baker. But out of all her cookie recipes, this is my husband’s favorite. Year after year she has sent us a holiday cookie package. The package usually has several varieties such as an anise, spice, Neapolitan, biscotti, pizzelle, and the pignoli cookies. So this year with her recipe in hand I decided to surprise her with my own holiday box.

This was the first time I baked with almond paste. I thought the paste was too sticky and was worried that the dough would be too wet. My mother-in-law's recipe adds a tablespoon or two of flour to the batter to help with the shape and makes the batter easier to work with. Still I was worried, the batter seemed very sticky. I looked on line and saw many recipes that were similar but no flour. After the first batch of cookies came out of the oven I knew the flour worked like a charm. The finished cookies were lightly golden in color and had a slight chew. The texture was wonderful. Happy Holidays!

Ingredients:

2 7-ounce tubes almond paste
1 cup sugar
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 to 2 cups pignoli nuts for rolling

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare baking sheet; cover with silpat, parchment paper or grease with butter.


Mix first 5 ingredients together. Form into small balls using a tablespoon to keep them all the same size. Roll into balls using the palms of your hands. Spread pine nuts unto a flat surface and then roll balls in nuts until coated.


Bake at 325F degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on baking sheets about 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks. Enjoy!








Cheri Savory Spoon
Cheri Savory Spoon

Mysavoryspoon was first started in 2010 as a way to journal recipes that I had collected from cookbooks, magazines, family and friends. Most everything was savory, using legumes and whole grains. Along the way I discovered a love for baking. Now a couple times a month you might see some type of sweet pie or treat.

63 comments:

  1. Damn delcious cookies!!!
    never had pignoli peanuts before, tempting to try.....

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  2. I've had these cookies, often, but never made them. I love them, so thanks for the recipe! We should definitely try these.

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    1. Thanks John, they are my husbands favorite.

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  3. Wow, these look and sound wonderful! I suppose pignoli nuts are like pine nuts? And almond paste is marzipan? (sorry, being lazy - I could just look both of these things up!) I love the idea of baking Christmas cookies but haven't done it before - I think I should turn over a new leaf this year in that respect ... especially with wonderful recipes like this to refer to!

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    1. Hi Helen, pignoli nuts are pine nuts but almond paste differs from marzipan, marzipan has a higher ratio of sugar, about seventy per cent. Thanks!!

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  4. Hi Cheri, no Italian holiday would be complete with out these cookies, they are included in every box of Italian cookies and are a staple cookie. I love them but never had a recipe, thanks for posting this.

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    1. Thanks Suzanne, this is my mother-in-law's recipe!

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  5. These look delicious. Something perfect for a holiday cookie basket. Thank you Cheri! D

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    1. Thanks D, these are a special little cookie!

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  6. Hi Cheri!
    I haven't had Pignoli Cookies in so long. It's been even longer since I've baked any. Every time I've ever baked them I always worried they wouldn't hold their shape. Of course they did, lol...I think the secret is in the flour. Yours look absolutely perfect. You husband's Mom is going to be so honored and quite surprised!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing, Cheri...I will be pinning these:)

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    1. Thanks Louise, this was the first time I baked with almond paste and I was afraid they would not hold there shape either, but they did.

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    2. They sure did Cheri:)

      I'm so ecxcited to hear you may be joining us for Cookbook Wednesday! That would be wonderful!!! Whenever you're ready we'll be there, lol...

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    3. Thanks Louise, really appreciate it!

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  7. I've never seen these before. I only recently read that I can buy pistachio paste overseas so I will add almond paste to my list as well. Thanks for sharing this recipe :)

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    1. Thanks Tandy, never heard of pistachio paste before, bet it is delicious!

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  8. Cheri, I love love love almond paste and I whip up these types of cookies all the time. It's easy and always a hit with my family. The other day, I made some with candied cherries and almond slices on top...pignoli nuts are so expensive that I save it for special occasions. I don't use any flour...if you find it sticky, pop it in the fridge a bit to firm up. I scoop the dough out with a small ice cream scoop. Your cookie packages sound amazing, btw.

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    1. Hi Monica, thanks for the tip, I thought the almond paste and the pignoli nuts were both pretty expensive, but the flavor was delicious.

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  9. What a great story about your mother-in-law. I'm sure she loved your cookies!

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    1. Hi Karen, I hope so she should receive them tomorrow in the mail. Thanks!

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  10. My family are huge almond fans. Marzipan is a must at Christmas time, so I know these will be gobbled up very quickly. And they will be very easy to make gluten free so my grandmother and I will be able to enjoy them too!

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    1. Hi Amy, I can see why your family loves almond paste so, it has such great flavor.

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  11. These remind me a childhood! Like little personal pignoli pies is portable form. <3

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    1. Hi Francesca, love food that has a story or memory. Thanks!

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  12. I'm going to make these, Cheri. I love pine nuts AND almond paste. One of my favorite cookies is Giada's apricot and pine nut cookies. I think these will be a close second.

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    1. Hi Barbara, I'll have to check out those apricot and pine nut cookies. Thanks!

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  13. So tempting and addictive! Those are lovely cookies.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  14. I've never had pignoli nuts but these cookies look marvelous, Cheri. I love cookies when their soft and moist right out of the oven. I think this is something I will attempt, too!

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    1. Thanks Robyn, I like them right out of the oven as well with a glass of milk.

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  15. Your mother-in-law must adore you, Cheri. Christmas cookie recipes are sometimes highly guarded material! I'm intrigued and would like to give your almond paste foundation cookies a try.

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    1. Thanks Kim, my mother-in-law is a fantastic baker, I have learned somethings from her.

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  16. Yumm these look so good and love the idea of using almond paste in cookies!

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    1. Thanks Ami, I will be baking with almond paste again.

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  17. wow these cookies look to die for, Cheri. Can't resist that nutty coating at all.

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    1. Thanks Angie, these are my husband's favorite.

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  18. What beautiful looking cookies. I do love almond paste and it's an ingredient I associate with Christmas so it's very timely that you've posted this recipe. I haven't heard of these cookies but I would love to try them xx

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    1. Thanks Charlie, my husband's mother makes these every year, we have been pretty spoiled.

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  19. These are my mom's favorite cookie!! Must try to make them for her this year!

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    1. Hi Joanne, I was surprised that these cookies only use 6 ingredients and are so easy to make. Thanks!

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  20. I've never tried these cookies -- they look delicious!

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  21. Looks great. I have to try them soon. :)

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  22. There is no telling how many pignoli cookies I could eat…you did a good job.

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  23. These cookies look very tasty, I have never tried rolling it in pine nuts! Great idea :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. Thanks Uru, they are a little chewy and crunchy at the same time.

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  24. I know I would love these as I love both almond flavor and pine nuts! Thank you for sharing the recipe, Cheri.

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  25. These would be a great addition to my holiday cookie tray!

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  26. I love the look of this cookie with all the pine nuts on them. That holiday cookie package sounds so wonderful!

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    1. Thanks Seana, I love this time of year but it always goes by so fast.

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  27. These cookies look so good, Cheri! And what a nice idea to create holiday cookie packages as gifts!

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    1. Thanks Nancy, sending out packages also prevents me from eating everything. lol!

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  28. This is so funny - the Baking With Julia group has been making these (minus the pignoli) this week! I love these and thank you for the hint of your mother-in-law's to add the flour! ~ David

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  29. Sounds like a fun club! My mother-in-law is a great cook and baker, I have so much to learn.

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  30. These are on my list this year! Lovely cookies - I hope mine turn out this great.

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