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Italian Pignoli Cookies

Cookies are the crown jewels of Italian confections. I can’t let a holiday go by without baking these traditional almond cookies rolled in mild pine nuts.—Maria Regakis, Somerville, Massachusetts
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 15 min./batch
  • Makes
    2-1/2 dozen


  • 1-1/4 cups (12 ounces) almond paste
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature, divided
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups pine nuts


  • In a small bowl, beat almond paste and sugar until crumbly. Beat in 2 egg whites. Gradually add confectioners' sugar; mix well.
  • Whisk remaining egg whites in a shallow bowl. Place pine nuts in another shallow bowl. Shape dough into 1-in. balls. Roll in egg whites and coat with pine nuts. Place 2 in. apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Flatten slightly.
  • Bake at 325° until lightly browned, 15-18 minutes. Cool for 1 minute before removing from pans to wire racks. Store in an airtight container.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 112 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 7mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • Anna J.
    Dec 5, 2020

    Came out very good with few adjustments. I added 3/4 cup of almond flour, added 1 teaspoon of honey with little less sugar, and used 1 egg white for dipping. Baked them on silicone macaroon sheet.

  • Emily
    Dec 22, 2019

    Delicious cookies! Not cheap to make but so good. The KEY to keeping them from spreading or being too thin is to refrigerate the dough for at least 30 min (I usually do an hour). This also helps make them easier to form into balls and dip into the egg whites/nuts

  • Rose
    Dec 15, 2019

    They bake all flattened out

  • Jillian
    Sep 16, 2019

    Everything was fine until I rolled the dough in the egg whites, per the recipe instructions. The extra whites made the dough too loose to form into balls, made the dough pool in the oven, and gave a bad flavor to the finished cookies. No other pignoli recipe I've seen recommends coating the dough in anything. This recipe might work fine with just the two egg whites in the dough.

  • rheinz
    Dec 25, 2018

    Because the ingredients in this recipe are not exactly cheap, I thought I'd warn others that something is not right with this one. I always trusted Taste of Home, so I was shocked to see this recipe fail. The "cookie" just melts into a puddle in the oven. As somebody else suggested, perhaps flour was what was missing.

  • Mary
    Nov 30, 2018

    Recipe was good but needed 1T of honey to give it a more authentic taste. I substituted powdered sugar. I was happy to come across this recipe, always the favorite of the Italian cookies of my childhood.

  • Brittney
    Jul 9, 2017

    Second time to use this recipe to make Pignoli cookies. It is missing something not quite sure exactly what it is yet. It is the closest to traditional Pignoli cookies I have found because you will NEVER get the true recipe out of your Italian mother-in-law! Alas, I keep trying!

  • NicVenti
    Dec 22, 2014

    Huge hit! Everyone loved them. Tasted perfect just like the bakery. Very satisfied

  • LoriGrzybowski
    Jun 28, 2013

    No comment left

  • maburyrn
    Jan 17, 2012

    No comment left