If you like marzipan or almonds you will love these little chewy, almondy cuties!
The first time I made them, I followed Anne Burrell’s instructions and used a disposable pastry bag. My three-year-old, Aja, had a blast piping her own cookies, which I baked in the toaster oven. She was having a hard time understanding why she couldn’t just eat the dough right out of the bag—like she does with icing.
Ironically, hers turned out better than mine—which were a bit too big and thus underdone in the middle.
This time I used a small cookie scoop, which I found much easier, and the cookies were all the same size (mostly) and cooked though. The slightly bigger cookies were still underdone and stuck to the parchment—and the smaller ones were a little more brown than I think is visually appealing.
I thus lowered the oven temp in the recipe from Anne’s 350 degrees for 12 – 14 minutes to 300 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes. I am planning on making these again in the next few days with these changes, and I will then update this post. I still wanted to post this in the meantime because it’s a great recipe for Passover and there’s only 3 days to go!
Let me know if you make it and how the oven temp and times worked out for you!
I saved some of the dough for Aja and let her pipe her own little cookies using a ziplock bag. She learned how to do this from a fantastic app called Hello Cupcake!
Pine Nuts can be quite pricey; Trader Joe’s carry an 8oz bag for a great price.
Small Cookie Scoop, Parchment Sheets, Microplane Grater
Anne Burrell's Pignoli Cookies
- Two 8-oz cans almond paste I use two 7-oz tubes of Odense Almond Paste
- 1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 large egg whites separate when cold
- 1 large lemon zested
- large pinch ground cinnamon
- large pinch table salt
- ½ to ¾ cups pine nuts raw pignolias
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line two sheet trays with parchment paper. (Anne Burrell lists 350 degrees F for 12 - 14 minutes but I find the cookies underdone or over-brown.)
- Using your fingers, break almond paste into small pieces into the bowl of your stand mixer. Then beat the almond paste on high speed, with the paddle attachment, until it is in fine crumbles; start on slow speed so it doesn't fly out of the bowl. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix on slow speed until well combined.
- Stop mixer; add the honey, egg whites, lemon zest, cinnamon and salt, and beat on medium speed until the mixture is well combined and very thick, about 5 minutes.
- Drop about a tablespoon of dough onto the baking sheet using a small cookie scoop. Don't make them too big or they won't cook through. (No more than a tablespoon!)
- If using a pastry bag: Fill a disposable pastry bag with the dough. Push the dough towards the tip and cut the tip off the bag. Pipe 1-inch balls (about 1 tablespoon of dough) onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving one inch between balls.
- Top with the pine nuts, pressing them into the dough to secure.
- Bake until the cookies are golden, 15 - 20 minutes, rotating baking sheet after 8 - 9 minutes; they will still be slightly soft. Leave on the baking sheet 3 - 4 minutes before transferring parchment to wire racks to cool completely.
- If the cookies stick to the parchment use a metal scraper/offset spatula to remove them.
Try to make cookies the same size so they cook evenly. Adapted from Anne Burrell on FoodNetwork.com
I have not made these yet but you cannot use confectioner’s sugar for Passover. I do look forward to trying these for other occasions.