Authentic Italian Pine Nut Cookies (Pignoli)

When it comes to Italian cookies, biscotti are definitely on top of the list. They are regarded as the star. However, there are many more cookies that originated in Italy, just waiting to be discovered. Take a look at these Authentic Italian Pine Nut Cookies, for instance.

They are mildly sweet but they have this distinct full-bodied nutty flavor from the almond paste that would surely linger on your palate, in a good way. They also have a crispy exterior and chewy interior that makes every bite feels like heaven. If you haven’t had pine nut cookies yet, you should make and try them very soon. Once you have, you will surely add it to your list of favorite Italian cookies! πŸ™‚

You probably have already seen pine nut cookies or pignoli at some bakeries. Maybe you even had them before. But now that you came across this recipe, there is no more need to buy them. From here on out, you can make as many pine nut cookies as you want from the comfort of your home. And from scratch, too.

One good thing about these cookies is you can also easily make them gluten-free.

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Authentic Italian Pine Nut Cookies (Pignoli)

  • Author: Myles
  • Total Time: 30 minutes + cooling time
  • Yield: 20 1x


Slightly crispy exterior and chewy exterior; these are the qualities of good cookies. But with Authentic Italian Pine Nut Cookies, you are in for a treat. They have this mild taste, yet it lingers pleasantly on your palate. Be it a gift, dessert, or snack, pignoli would be a great option.



8 oz almond paste

3 tbsp granulated sugar

2/3 c. powdered confectioners sugar

3 eggs white (divided)

1/4 c. plain all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 c. pine nuts


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 cookie sheets with lightly greased parchment paper.
  2. Crumble up the almond paste and add it to the food processor along with the granulated sugar. Process until sandy and combined.
  3. Add 2 of the egg whites, powdered sugar, and salt. Process again until smooth.
  4. Transfer the dough into a bowl and place in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  5. Whisk the remaining egg white in a separate bowl.
  6. Lightly flour your hands and start rolling small tablespoons of the dough into balls.
  7. Dip each ball into the egg white and roll in pine nuts. You can also put them directly on the prepared cookie sheets after dipping them into the egg white and just sprinkle them with nuts. Be sure to sit the balls at least 1 inch apart from each other.
  8. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown.
  9. Let cool on the cookie sheets for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • You can substitute the all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour.
  • If you don’t have parchment paper, you can use foil or a silpat.
  • Take note that it could be challenging to roll the dough into balls, but you just need to get them into balls as much as you can.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes

For best results, make sure that you use a thick almond paste. You can also make your own almond paste, which will only take you a few minutes.

Now, if you want a festive look to your pine nut cookies, simply add holiday sprinkles. Adding orange zest would be good as well. Another option is to mix a teaspoon of vanilla extract into the dough. Or, add a teaspoon of almond extract to have that nutty taste.

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