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5 from 15 votes

Pignoli Cookies

Pignoli cookies are a classic Italian cookie made with almond paste, sugar, egg whites, pine nuts, and a dusting of powdered sugar.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 36 cookies


  • 16 ounces (454g) almond paste sliced
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large (60g) egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) pignoli nuts
  • 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar optional, for decorating


  • Preheat the oven to 350f and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Lay the pignoli out on a plate and set aside.
  • Crumble the almond paste into a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium speed until combined (about 45 seconds).
  • Add the egg whites and beat on medium until the dough is formed (about 2 minutes). The dough will be quite sticky.
  • Using a cookie scoop, make tablespoon-sized dough balls and roll them between your hands. If needed, dip hands in water to help prevent sticking.
  • Roll the balls in the pignoli to coat lightly and transfer to a baking sheet. Using a spoon or the bottom of a glass, press the balls slightly to help the nuts adhere to the cookie, then place in the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes. The cookies will be lightly brown but still slightly soft in the center.
  • Move the cookies to wire racks to cool completely before serving or storing. If desired, sprinkle the cookies with powdered sugar. Enjoy!


  • The dough is extremely sticky. Keeping a small bowl of water on the side to dip your hands will help tremendously.  Also, a cookie scoop comes in extremely handy here.
  • The confectioner's sugar used is optional and is for decorative purposes only. 
  • Pignoli cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  • This recipe was written for a conventional oven.  For convection ovens, reduce the temperature by 25 degrees and begin checking for doneness at the 75% mark.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.6g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 11.2g | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg