Classic Italian Pignoli Cookies

I used to frequent a bakery in the Bronx which had the best tiramisu and pignoli cookies. They were so expensive at $25 a pound. So I decided to learn how to make them to taste exactly as that bakery! After a few trials and errors, I finally got it. It's straight forward, and one of the lowest ingredient pignoli cookie recipes I have come across. Now you can add orange zest, or honey, but I feel like the true flavor does not need such a distraction.



Ingredients: (Makes 12)

*4 oz almond paste (not marzipan)

*1/2 cup granulated sugar

*1 large egg white

*2.5 oz pine nuts

*Parchment paper (or oil to grease the baking sheet, but parchment paper is much better, less chance of cookies getting stuck).


Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees C.

2) Use a food processor, or a fork (I don't have a food processor so I use a fork), to crumble and mix the almond paste into the sugar). I like to pour 1/4 of the sugar sugar on the block of almond paste/around and shave it down incorporating the sugar as I go. Once it is shaved I add the rest of the sugar and keep incorporating it. The texture of this is very rough and it basically brakes down into crumbles.

3) Once sugar and almond paste are together, mix in the egg white. The egg white should make it less crumbly. Do not be tempted to add more egg white. When you take a small ball of the paste, just work in any bumps you feel if it is still a bit crumbly.

4) Take a small ball of the paste, there should be about 12, shape the cookie, then dip one side into the pine nuts.

5) Place on a greased baking sheet and fill in the gaps and sides with more pine nuts.

7) Bake got 12-15 minutes until they are lightly brown on the edges. The tops might not fully brown. If you can easily twist the cookie off the bottom, it is done! Be ware, it might need to cool a bit to do this test.