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Pignoli Cookies

Ingredients

16 ounces almond paste (two 8-ounce cans)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus more for dusting

4 egg whites

1 tsp vanilla

6 tbsp. flour

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups pine nuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325F, with racks in center and lower third.  Line two glass trays with parchment paper; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat almond paste and both sugars on medium (2-4) speed until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 2 minutes.  Add egg whites and vanilla, and beat on medium-high (4-6) speed until a smooth paste forms 3-4 minutes.  Add flour and salt; beat until combined, about 1 minute.  Dough will be very soft and tacky, almost like a batter.  This dough can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 day until ready to shape and roll in pine nuts.

Bake until edges of cookies and pine nuts have turned golden brown, about 13-15 minutes.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.  Using an offset spatula, carefully loosen from parchment paper.  Using a fine sieve, dust cookies with confectioners’ sugar.  Cookies can be kept, stacked between layers of waxed or parchment paper, in an airtight container for 4 days or frozen for 2 months.

Yields 30 cookies

Dough can be made 2 days in advance and refrigerated.  Almond paste is available in most supermarkets; do not substitute marzipan.