As I previously stated, we don’t eat a lot of desserts, not that we don’t like sweets because we do. We just consume our calories in different ways. Nevertheless, a cookie is always welcome. Pignoli cookies are one of the most classic Italian American cookies, and it is one of the easiest to make. In fact, if you want your children to learn to cook this is the cookie to use to teach them. There are only 5 ingredients. “Pignoli” refers to the pine nuts that top the cookies, a distinct Sicilian twist. The personal element in making this cookie is to ask yourself if you like it chewy or crumbly crisp—the difference is all in the baking time. With the timing given below, they will be a bit chewy when they come out of the oven and for the first day. Of course, it depends on how big you make them. Oh, so many variables in cooking!
- (2) 7-ounce tubes almond paste
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- finely grated zest of one orange
- 2 cups whole pine nuts
Crumble almond paste into the work bowl of a food processor and process until the paste is in fine crumbs. Sprinkle in the sugar with the motor running. Once the sugar is incorporated, add the egg whites and orange zest. Process to make a smooth dough, about 20 to 30 seconds.
Spread the pine nuts on a plate. Form the dough into 2-tablespoon-sized balls by rolling in in between the palms of your hands, then roll the dough in the pine nuts until coated, then place on baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden and springy to the touch, about 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool completely.
When cooled they go beautifully with the Chocolate Cinnamon Gelato with Toffee Bits.