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
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
15 min

Yield:
about 40 cookies
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 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
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe

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
Flavor was great. Didn't have trouble with the ingredients. They looked great in the oven, but quickly went flat on the cooling rack! Did not see your updated recipe fix till now. This is the second time I am making these, so I will try again! Any other suggestions? Can you double the recipe? It is never enough! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Update: Our culinary team has changed the amount of almond paste to two 8-ounce cans and the amount confectioners sugar to 1 1/2 cups. Admin Customer Service item not reviewed by moderator and published
amazing, melt in your mouth, and gluten free to boot! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Tasted wonderful and really easy with the right tools. I did not have a stand mixer so I used my hand mixer that is now in the trash. It quit under the pressure. Also use parchment paper--the cookies stuck to a greased cookie sheet. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Not sure how to rate these. They are a bit of a pain to make, and a little pricey, but hey it's Christmas. They are very chewy and after a day in the tin they were even softer. I will try it again and maybe use a little less honey and more sugar. I didn't have a pastry bag and used a Ziploc bag, which worked but it would have been easier with a disposable pastry bag. I also might try baking them longer. The other thing is the amount of almond paste. It doesn't come in 15 oz cans. It comes in 7oz tubes. So the recipe is a little off. The taste was good. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great tasting cookie! I made my own almond paste (probably not again and my dough was too wet. Unfortunately I did not read the reviews prior about the canned paste and possibly adding a little flour to thicken. I did use the pastry bag but needed to fold & clip bottom between trays so it wouldn't run out. I also cooked them at 300 degree oven for 15 - 18 " till light but slightly golden. My family loved them! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I followed this recipe to the letter and the cookies still came out raw in the middle and brown on the surface. Note that the recipe was altered after the video was shot. I did set my oven to 350 on bake/convection so perhaps that affected the baking irregularity. I used two spoons to scoop out the cookie dough - did not need the pastry bag. I am going to try it again though because it seems like a simple enough recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Fantastic cookie! This is an easy and fast recipe. The cookies are light, sweet and nutty. I did not have a pastry bag, tried a ziplock bag but the dough was too heavy. I ended up using a spoon and rolled dough in the palms of my hands. The dough is sticky but works ok if you wet your fingers a little. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been trying to make pignoli cookies for years and have never found the right recipe.......until now! Thanks Anne Burrell - my search is over. These taste exactly like the bakery. Delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Cookies tasted awesome but the major problem is finding the type of almond paste she used in the video. I happened to buy an almond paste that was more on the gel side and that made my cookies flat and wateryish texture. I am sure if i came across the right type of almond paste i would have had better cookies. What i did taste, the dough was awesome. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These were only ok for me, the flavor was ok, but the texture was chewy in a way that it stuck in your teeth. I probably won't make these again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent taste and easy to make. Almond paste usually comes in 7 or 8 oz tubes or cans so you would need 2 of them to the 1 cup of confectioners sugar. The texture and consistency was perfect. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My cookies came out thin, very thin. I made the recipe twice thinking I did something wrong the first time. It wasn't until I went back and wtached the video and it shows she uses two cans of almond paste and 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, is that correct? Mine were not thick like her's were at all. When she piped it out of the pastry bag it was solid, mine was completely runny. Help?!? item not reviewed by moderator and published
this was the first time I made these, and they were so easy and delish! Next time I will double the recipe item not reviewed by moderator and published
These were good, but not what I was hoping for! The only other time I have had pignoli cookies was at an Italian Bakery, and they were amazing! While this recipe was good, they tasted nothing like authentic pignolis. I think these tasted more like almond flavoring/marzipan than they do pine nuts. Also, the texture was very soft, but stuck to your teeth a bit… item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just finished the cookies and they are delicious. The pastry bag is unnecessary as if you place 1/2 tsp of dough and pat down (with wet fingers they come out perfect. Expensive cookie to make but worth it! 1 cup of confections sugar is perfect. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I read all the reviews and made the following adjustments. Made my own almond paste. Using 1 1/2 cups almonds makes the perfect amount. Used 1/2 cup powdered icing sugar, and only one egg white and only half the amount of honey. I mixed on high for 8 minutes or so and they were firm enough to spoon out. I found the 1/2 cup of pine nuts to be too much. The cookies were lovely and light. Quite sweet still, but I have never had then before. I liked them. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Super easy cookie. Made a 1/2 batch per recipe to test. It took 5 stores before I found almond paste in a can and it only came in 8 ounces, not 15. Plan ahead. It was $5.60 a can. The dough came together easily. I will probaby add a bit more lemon zest and cinnamon the next time. I used a cookie scoop...about 1 tablespoon. Yes the dough is sticky but it is manageable. I baked it the convection for 12 minutes and think I could have gone to 13 or let it sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cool. For half the cookies, I added some gold coarse sugar after pressing the pine nuts in the dough. I really like the effect...a bit more festive for the holidays. Calories per cookie: 99 based on getting 18 cookies out of the half batch and using 6 tablespoons of pine nuts across 18 cookies. Husband hasn't tried them yet so I'll update after he comments. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These are my favorite cookies!! So easy to make!! I will make these cookies again and again!! Thanks Anne for a great recipe!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a terrific cookie! I did a half batch and they turned out crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. Will definitely make again. I work with almond paste often and always use the canned. It is drier than the tube and makes a firmer dough. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made exactly as recipe is written. Delicious flavor and texture. Made a second time but used macademia nuts. Also terrificl Annie , Fremont , CA item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have tried similar recipes but they all have been disasters. This one however was excellent. These are my husbands favorite cookies and I was having trouble letting them cool down as he kept eating them. I did not use a pastry bag and didn't use the lemon peel as I had none. Best pignoli cookie recipe around....thanks Anne! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Although the cookies were very good, the recipe is very confusing. Read on another review that you have to get the 'canned' almond paste, the recipe does not say this. Therefore the cookies came out very sweet. I encourage the chef's to read these reviews. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just love pignoli cookies and these were so authentic and so delicious. Also, easy to make!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love pignoli cookies!! My family is from Itlay and these cookies are always a treat. I saw some negative reviews on here about the dough being very sticky. You have to make sure to get the "Almond Paste" in a "can". If you buy the product that comes in a tube, you will have to add flour. The cans are very hard to find, but they make the best cookies. item not reviewed by moderator and published
AWESOME!! so authentic!! followed the recipe and it was easy and so good...not sure if they will make it to christmas.. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These cookies are moist on the inside and chewy. They bake fast! You don't have to prepare them for hours, you pop ingredients in a stand mixer and it does it for you quick and easily. They are good for the holidays or just for whenever you're in the mood for them. I love these cookies but they're addictive. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These were authentic. I did leave out the lemon zest because I didn't have it. I also added 2 tbls flour because it was very humid the day I made them and the dough was a bit sticky. Did not use the pastry bag, just scooped out 3/4 tablespoon and dropped on cookie sheet. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The cookies are chewy and delicious. Because the bulk of these cookies consist of almond paste, you need to buy the best quality almond paste that you can. As for the reviewers who found the dough to be overly soft and runny, I had a similar problem the first time I made the cookies. To resolve this issue, I beat the dough at medium high for approximately 8 minutes at the end of the recipe. This really firmed up the dough and there was minimal spreading after they baked. I needed to bake the cookies for 18-20 minutes. My one complaint is that the cookies are very sweet. I just reduced the amount of sugar to 1/2 cup but I still found them very sweet. Next time, I'll make my own almond paste to see if that helps. NOTE: These cookies might NOT be gluten free. Wheat is an ingredient in the almond paste that I purchased. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yuck!!! Threw them away. The almond paste was very gross. Very expensive (almond paste and a waste of time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Best pignoli cookie I have eaten...I have had ones from Italy and here in US...love the honey and lemon zest along with pinch of cin...gives them a real kick. Am adding these to my cookie list for Christmas cookies!! Thanks Ann item not reviewed by moderator and published
Terrible end result. The dough was too soft and it ran throughout the pan. A waste of my time and product. I agree with the others posted. Should have not trusted the recipe and added the flour. This recipe needs reviewed by anne and adjusted or commented on so that we all know why it does not turn out properly. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have to agree with the person who gave this recipe a one star because it is impossible to creat a cookie out of a mooshy dough and expect it to come out a solid. My almond paste was a bit moist & so was the dough. I added a 1/4 cup of all purpose flour to this recipe and got a wonderful perfect cookie.I read other recipes just like Ann's and they all added flour so why didn't Ann? I did NOT use a pastry bag but instead just rolled the cookie into a ball and placed it on my baking sheet. I also baked cookie at 300F and not 350F because all other recipes said 300F would work best...it did work nicely. I don't think Ann is the best chef on TV but she does have some good ideas just maybe not as clear as I would like to see. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great cookie recipe - better than the bakery! Like other reviewers, rather than piping the dough from a pastry bag, I used a spoon to form the one inch mounds. Yum and so pretty! item not reviewed by moderator and published
great cookie!!!!! very easy to make , costly ingredient list though. the sticky ickyest dough ever!!!! will never buy from my bakery again! dropping this recipe into my cycle for the Italian half of my family!!! Anne is one of my favorite chefs , does food the right way and enjoys herself , wacky but fun to watch item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the first recipe I've seen on Food Network in awhile that made me grab a pen and paper. WOW! Delicious and easily prepared, can't get better than this. item not reviewed by moderator and published
SO! SO! EXCELLENT! After years of trying... I have finally found the best recipe for these cookies.... They are the best! My family and friends loved them...the touch of honey, and the lemon zest were the magic touch. I use my food processor to mix the dough and I used a small mellon baller to form them perfectly..... Thanks Anne, you are the best! Delicious! Fantastic! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just made these to bring to work...I hope they make it there. I have been picking them off one by one! Delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these over the weekend and they recieved RAVE reviews! I would change (2) things next time - toast the pine nuts up a bit first and use a little bit more nuts on top of the cookie. The Dough itself was out of this world and worth the exensive ingredients :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
These cookies are just like the ones you get in Little Italy in New York and Boston. I did modify her recipe slightly by adding a tablespoon of good quality (Luxardo) Amaretto to the dough. I also just use a spoon and drop the dough onto cookie sheets and save the step and mess of piping them. They are absolutely divine! And, they also work well for my friend who has a gluten intolerance. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband is diabetic so substituted Splenda sugar substitute and 1/4 c. Eggbeaters. They were very good and disappeared quickly. Karen in Lexington, KY item not reviewed by moderator and published
Almond paste is a sweetened product but almond flour is just finely ground almonds with nothing added. You can make your own almond paste by adding confectioners sugar, egg whites and almond extract to the ground almonds. This is a great and easy cookie but does need the almond paste not plain almond flour. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious and easy. These cookies were informally voted the best out of all the Christmas cookies I made this year. Easy and very, very delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these cookies over the holiday. They are simple, easy and oh sooo wonderful. Gave them to friends who also raved about them. I am wondering though it you could substitute almond flour in place of the paste, does anyone know? I watch Banne Burrell alot lately and she is beginning to top the list of my favorite chefs. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I usually do not bake; I leave that to my best friend who is a very experienced baker. I love pignoli cookes and thought that this recipe sounded easy. It was easy and the results were impressive!! Wow!! Thank you Anne. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I saw these made on T.V. and had to try it. They are as easy as it looks. I purchased the almond paste in a can and didn't have any problems blending the ingredients with my KitchenAid mixer. I did moisten my finger tips just slightly to push the pine nuts onto the tops. The flavors are fabulous and doesn't use any butter or lard, which I love!! I will be making these again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
and I love this type of cookie...but when I saw that pastry bag come out...and that sticky dough...I thought, uh uh...no way, i'm not falling for this again! I literally can watch cooking shows all day...love them. Anne is a riot in the kitchen, very entertaining...but i know i can't do this stuff...that's why I love to watch her do it all...... item not reviewed by moderator and published
Easy, moist, delicious and quick. My son loved piping them onto the baking pan. I used the tube paste, but noticed it's only 7 oz- not 8 so I had to get another. Canned would have been easier- but it all still worked out! Great recipe Ann. Thank you! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these last night with my daughter... perfectly brown, moist and chewy with a wonderful flavor. You definitely want to plan on piping these like she says, the batter is really sticky. If you don't have a pastry bag on hand, try a gallon ziploc bag... fill and smoosh the batter iinto one corner and cut the end... super easy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just made these cookies using the almond paste in the tube as I could not find the other in the can. They are amazing. If they are wet or sticky they need more cooking. They are beautiful and golden brown. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I buy these cookies ALL the time @ a bakery in Philly near the Italian Market. This recipe is exactly like the ones I buy and were super simple to make. I couldn't believe it! Not sure what went wrong with Cathy's batch, maybe it was the tubed almond paste. I did find mine in the cans so maybe that makes a difference. Thank You Anne for this recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
almond paste came in a 7 oz tube instead of an 8 oz can. cookie dough came out wet instead of the hard paste exhibited on TV. baked em anyway, what a mess, stuck to the silicone, sickly sweet gummy mess 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