Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of a large mixer cream the butter until fluffy, then add vanilla and the espresso.
In a large bowl sift the confectioners' sugar then add to it the butter mixture in the mixer and mix well.
In the same bowl used to sift the sugar, add flour and salt and sift. Add them to the mixer that contains the cream, butter mixture. Turn the mixture out on a floured board and sprinkle the pine nuts on the mixture and mix nuts in well with your hands (if dough gets too sticky add a bit more flour to the board and to your hands). When nuts are mixed in, place mixture in a large glass bowl and put in refrigerator for 1/2 hour to make it easier to roll. Take bowl out of the refrigerator and with your hands pick up walnut sized balls of dough, roll them in your hands and place them in an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes or until cookies turn a light golden brown. When all of the cookies have been baked place them on a cooling rack overnight. If you are pressed for time 5 hours will do.
In a large resealable plastic bag place the pound of confectioners' sugar (this is a bit of overkill but I wanted to have enough powdered sugar for the cookies). Add 6 to 12 cookies at a time and gently toss them in the powdered sugar and then place them on a cooling rack trying not to disturb the sugar coating. Continue until all cookies are coated. Let cookies rest so that the coating really adheres. Now - when you eat one - you will want another and another and another!
My Dad used to also coat these cookies with raw sugar (that he had family ship from Italy), and I have made them that way also. However, people seem to like the powdered sugar more.
A viewer or guest of the show, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Penny Spina