Pignoli Cookies

Pignoli cookies are standard at any Italian bakery. But they are the simplest of cookies to make at home, mixed in one bowl and ready in[ under an hour. Anne Burrell's special touch? A bit of honey.]

Total Time:
35 min
20 min
15 min

about 40 cookies

  • One 15-ounce can gluten-free almond paste, finely crumbled
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cups pine nuts
  • Special Equipment: disposable pastry bag

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line sheet trays with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the paddle attachment, beat the almond paste on high speed until it is really broken up. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix on slow speed until well combined.

Add the honey, cinnamon, salt, egg whites and lemon zest and beat on medium speed until the mixture is well combined and very thick, about 5 minutes.

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 onto the prepared sheet trays. Top with the pine nuts, pressing them into the dough to secure. Bake until the cookies are golden, 12 to 14 minutes.

Pine nutty!

From Food Network Kitchens; after further testing and to ensure the best results this recipe has been altered from what was in the actual episode.

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4.2 62
,Came out just like the bakery but I did it in minutes in the Cuisinart using the metal blade. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made these a few times and everyone loves them. A couple of things that have improved results: a) I use 1 1/2 c of confectioner’s sugar which is not too sweet and gives better consistency; b) I use a small cookie scoop which holds 1 T and find it easier to use than pastry bag, c) I use a cookie sheet with no sides and bake at 350F for 18-19 minutes turning cookie sheet halfway through. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Rating is for the written recipe which notes it's altered from the actual episode/video. I followed the written recipe & the cookies spread much thinner while baking then I expected. I found almond paste in 7 oz. rolls at Whole Foods (next to marzipan). I liked the flavors...although thin, still chewy. The lemon zest was not strong. Seems like honey was a twist in Anne's version, & perhaps made the batter too wet w/ only 1 c. of sugar. Since the video is edited, I didn't know how the batter consistency should look. This is my first try but I will add more sugar next time or try another recipe. Differences in video: Anne uses 2 cans of paste of unknown size, Anne mixes clumps of paste w/ sugar to break it up, Anne uses 1-1/2 c. of confectioners sugar. item not reviewed by moderator and published
They were good, the zested lemon was a different add then other recipes. As a guy, and an avid baker I did have to learn to zest a lemon :) This recipie tasted close to another with flour, However, The cookies stayed fresher and did NOT stale out 2 days later like the flour ones. item not reviewed by moderator and published
As an Italian from NY, I can tell you that the secret to these cookies is you absolutely MUST make your own almond paste. It's super simple and WAY cheaper than buying it. Plus the flavor cannot be compared to anything store bought. Here is my favorite recipe for almond paste: 2 Cups Slivered Almonds ½ Cup Granulated White Sugar 2 Egg Whites 4 Tbsp Butter (softened) 2 Tsp Pure Almond Extract (get the good stuff, not imitation) Blend almonds and sugar in food processor until you get a fairly fine powder. (Will still be a little gritty, don't worry about that.) Add in egg whites, butter & almond extract. Remove paste and store in tightly sealed container in refrigerator. Can also form into a ball when cold and wrap in plastic wrap and wax paper, then put into a zip lock bag. Stores well in freezer, will stay fresh in fridge for at least a month. That's it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I braved the crowd last night & got the ingredients only to realize that I bought 2 15 oz. cans of the almond paste. Do you recommend just using one can, or opening the second can for the extra ounce? Thank you. I'm giving it 5 stars simply cuz I love these cookies & can't wait to try them. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was very excited to make these, as these are one of my favorite cookies. I was utterly disappointed with this recipe as the proportions are completely off. The 2 egg whites made the consistency way too liquidy, causing the batter to be too runny. Adding more sugar would have made them way too sweet. These were a complete waste of ingredients, very disappointed with the whole thing. :( item not reviewed by moderator and published
Oh, my, this brings back one of my favorite memories! I haven't had these cookies since I was a child.....when my Dad would stop at the Italian Bakery on the way home from visiting my Grandparents in Detroit.......my favorite cookies, pignoli! We are Italian but were never able to find the perfect recipe.....until now and I'm 53 years old! We just watched the video together, which will become a great memory too! Thanks so much, Anne, for this great recipe, which IS the childhood cookie I remember so well! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The recipe calls for 1 cup powdered sugar but in the video Chef Anne added a cup and half. I initially put 1 cup powdered sugar, but the finished dough was a bit wet, so I added another half a cup. The result was excellent and, contrary to my initial worry, it was not exceedingly sweet. Also, the recipe says to beat the paste first before adding the sugar, but in the video Chef Anne added the sugar before beating. The latter method worked better because it was impossible to beat the paste by itself--it just bundled into itself and my mixer almost jumped off the counter. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The almond paste is very tough, and was hard on the mixer. But the result was a good cookie. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these cookies for the first time and they were perfect. However, everything is better homemade so I tried your almond paste recipe. Delicious!!! I put it in the refrig over night and it hardened up nicely. When I made the recipe, though, it was runny. Should I omit the egg whites in the batter since I used them in the paste recipe? Just wondering what your experience has been regarding this. Thanks. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Hes from NY, He might not live a month :) For Get about it!!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
But I'm guessing he can write a simple sentence correctly. item not reviewed by moderator and published

This recipe is featured in:

12 Days of Cookies