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Pignoli (Italian Almond Macaroons with Pine Nuts)

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Pignoli (Italian Almond Macaroons with Pine Nuts)
apprx 2 dozen cookies Easy
Total: Active:
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Ingredients (9)

  • 8-ounce can almond paste (DO NOT use paste from a tube)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/8 t. cinnamon
  • 2 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 2 T. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c pignolis (pine nuts) - European are better than the Asian variety in this recipe
  • 1/4 c sliced almonds (optional)
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Once you try a Pignoli, you will be hooked. Crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy inside with the sweet almond flavor embracing your taste buds. I was having them shipped to me from an Italian bakery in Boston, but it was getting too expensive. I decided I would try making my own. I found several different recipes online, so I did what I always do. I created my own recipe by taking different ideas from several other recipes. (and a few ideas entirely my own).

They turned out perfect! Just as good as the bakery … If not better!


  1. 1In a food processor with blade attachment combine first 5 ingredients and pulse until it forms a paste.
  2. 2With electric mixer combine egg whites and powdered sugar. Beat at high speed until frothy and doubled in size. Add to food processor and pulse just enough to combine with the paste.
  3. 3Paste will be extremely sticky. Scrape out on to wax paper (shaping into a ball) and refrigerate over night. (Make sure your paper is large enough to cover your ball completely)
  4. 4Take out chilled dough and preheat oven to 325. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  5. 5Using a SMALL cookie scoop drop dough about 2 inches apart. (About 12 per sheet)
  6. 6Add about 8-12 pignolis to the top of each cookie pressing down slightly
  7. 7**OPTION: You can add sliced almonds instead of pignoli (I actually did 1dozen of each)
  8. 8Bake 18-20minutes (Don’t let them get too brown) Let them rest on trays 5 minutes before removing them to cool
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