Pignoli cookie
Breads & Baked Goods Comfort Foods Desserts & Sweets Family-Friendly General Recipe

The easy authentic pignoli cookies recipe

Indulge in the divine goodness of Pignoli cookies! These delectable Italian treats are renowned for their delicate texture, nutty flavor, and chewy center. Made with an abundance of aromatic pine nuts, these cookies are a delightful combination of sweet and savory. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe will guide you through creating these mouthwatering delights that will leave you craving for more.

Difficulty: Moderate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 12-15 minutes
Serving: 24 cookies
Yield: Approx. 2 dozen cookies
Calories: 120 calories per cookie


  • 2 cups (240g) almond flour
  • 2 cups (280g) powdered sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups (280g) pine nuts
  • A pinch of salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


  • Mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer or whisk
  • Baking sheets
  • Parchment paper
  • Cooling rack

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line the baking sheets with parchment paper.

Step 2: In a mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, powdered sugar, egg whites, vanilla extract, almond extract, and a pinch of salt. Mix well until a smooth dough forms.

Step 3: Spread the pine nuts on a plate or shallow dish. Take a tablespoon-sized portion of dough and roll it into a ball between your palms. Roll the dough ball in the pine nuts, pressing them gently to adhere. Place the coated dough ball onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, leaving about 2 inches of space between each cookie.

Step 4: Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until they turn golden brown around the edges. Keep an eye on them as they can brown quickly.

Step 5: Once baked, remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes. Then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Dust the cooled cookies with confectioners’ sugar for an extra touch of sweetness.

Tips and Tricks

  1. Make sure the pine nuts are fresh and fragrant for the best flavor.
  2. If you prefer a softer texture, reduce the baking time slightly.
  3. Gently press the pine nuts onto the dough to ensure they adhere well.
  4. Experiment with adding a touch of lemon zest for a citrusy twist.
  5. Store the cookies in an airtight container to maintain their freshness.

Nutritional Information

Each pignoli cookie contains approximately:

  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Fiber: 1g

Final Thoughts

These Pignoli cookies are a delightful treat for any occasion. With their irresistible combination of almond, pine nuts, and sweetness, they will captivate your taste buds and leave you wanting more. Share these heavenly morsels with loved ones or savor them as a special indulgence just for yourself. Get ready to experience a burst of flavor and texture that will transport you to the sun-kissed shores of Italy. Enjoy!

Looking for more inspiration? Check out this mouthwatering YouTube video for a visual reference. Prepare to be tempted by the irresistible creations and let your creativity run wild in the kitchen. Elevate your dessert game and impress your loved ones with these delightful sweet treats. Enjoy the journey of exploring new flavors and techniques in the world of desserts!


Q1: What are Pignoli cookies?
A1: Pignoli cookies are traditional Italian almond-based cookies, coated with pine nuts and baked to perfection.

Q2: Can I use regular flour instead of almond flour in Pignoli cookies?
A2: Almond flour is an essential ingredient in Pignoli cookies, as it contributes to the unique texture and flavor. Substituting regular flour may alter the results.

Q3: Where can I find pine nuts to make Pignoli cookies?
A3: You can find pine nuts in most grocery stores, usually in the baking or nut section. Make sure to choose pine nuts that are fresh and free from rancidity.

Q4: Can I freeze the dough for Pignoli cookies for later use?
A4: Yes, you can freeze the dough for Pignoli cookies. Shape it into balls, roll in pine nuts, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze until firm, then transfer to a freezer bag. When ready to bake, simply thaw the dough balls and follow the baking instructions.

Q5: How long do Pignoli cookies stay fresh?
A5: When stored in an airtight container at room temperature, Pignoli cookies can stay fresh for up to a week.

Q6: Can I add chocolate chips to the dough for Pignoli cookies?
A6: While it’s not traditional, you can definitely experiment and add chocolate chips to the dough for Pignoli cookies for a delightful twist on the classic recipe.

Q7: Can I substitute the pine nuts with other nuts in Pignoli cookies?
A7: While pine nuts are the traditional choice for Pignoli cookies, you can try substituting them with other nuts like chopped almonds or pistachios for a unique flavor profile.

Q8: Can I make the Pignoli cookies smaller or larger?
A8: Absolutely! You can adjust the size of the Pignoli cookies according to your preference. Keep in mind that smaller cookies may require slightly less baking time, while larger cookies may need a bit more time in the oven.

Q9: Can I use almond extract instead of vanilla extract in Pignoli cookies?
A9: The recipe for Pignoli cookies already includes almond extract, but if you prefer a stronger almond flavor, you can replace the vanilla extract with additional almond extract.

Q10: Are Pignoli cookies gluten-free?
A10: Yes, Pignoli cookies are naturally gluten-free since they are made with almond flour instead of wheat flour.

Q11: Can I add a glaze or frosting to the Pignoli cookies?
A11: Pignoli cookies are traditionally enjoyed without any glaze or frosting. However, if you prefer a sweeter and more decorative touch, you can certainly drizzle them with a simple glaze made from powdered sugar and a little milk.

Q12: Can I store the baked Pignoli cookies in the fridge?
A12: It’s best to store Pignoli cookies at room temperature in an airtight container. Refrigeration may cause them to lose their delicate texture.

Q13: Can I make the dough for Pignoli cookies in advance and bake it later?
A13: Yes, you can prepare the dough for Pignoli cookies in advance and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, shape the dough into balls, roll them in pine nuts, and proceed with the baking instructions.

Q14: Are Pignoli cookies suitable for people with nut allergies?
A14: Unfortunately, Pignoli cookies are not suitable for individuals with nut allergies, as they contain almond flour and pine nuts.

Q15: Can I add a sprinkle of sea salt on top of the Pignoli cookies?
A15: Absolutely! A touch of sea salt can enhance the flavors and add a delightful contrast to the sweetness of the Pignoli cookies. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top before baking or immediately after they come out of the oven.

Q16: Can I use pre-toasted pine nuts for Pignoli cookies?
A16: It’s best to use raw pine nuts for Pignoli cookies and allow them to toast during the baking process. Pre-toasted pine nuts may become overly browned or burnt during the extended baking time.

Q17: Can I add lemon zest to the Pignoli cookie dough for a citrus flavor?
A17: Absolutely! Adding lemon zest to the Pignoli cookie dough can provide a refreshing citrus note that complements the almond flavor. Grate the zest of a lemon and mix it into the dough before shaping the cookies.

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