The City Magazine Since 1975

Pignoli Cookies

From the kitchen of Celia’s of Charleston* *adapted from How to Bake by Nick Malgieri, William Morrow Cookbooks (1995) with permission of the author (Yields about 3 dozen)
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1/2 lb. canned almond paste
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Whites from 2 large eggs
1 cup pine nuts



Break up the almond paste and put it in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the sugars and mix slowly until they are incorporated. Add the egg whites a little at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Place the dough in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Set an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Portion out the cookies using a one-inch scoop or a pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch plain tip. If you use the scoop, have a cup of cold water to dip the scoop in between cookies. Place the baking sheet of cookies in the freezer to stiffen the dough, approximately 15 minutes.
Place the pine nuts in a small bowl. Moisten your fingers and dip the tops of the chilled cookies one at a time into the pine nuts. Replace them on the pan and bake for 18 minutes, or until golden in color. Cool completely before carefully peeling the parchment paper from the cookies.