Pignoli Cookie Recipe


It seems everyone has a version of a Pignoli Cookie Recipe.

I have tried many, and have to say this one is my favorite.

The Pignoli Cookie~ also known as Pine Nut Macaroon is a delicate almond paste macaroon topped with Pine Nuts, hence the name “Pignoli” in Italian.

I have seen many variations on Pignoli Cookies, some with the inclusion of flour.

I leave the flour out of my recipe not only because I do not see the need for it, but this way we can give our gluten free friends a nice recipe to enjoy as well!

When I owned my bakery we would make these cookies and store them in the freezer for retail sale.

This practice has gotten to be commonplace in most bakeries or Italian deli’s since the cost to make these cookies are out of this world!

Pine nuts were coming in at about $22 a pound for me several years ago, and that was the commercial bakery price!

But you can see how that is not so far off even today as I bought my little jar of 5ounce Pine Nuts at Publix for $7!

And then the almond paste is another whopper!

I like to reserve these cookies for special occasions like Christmas or as birthday gifts since they are really special after all!

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Pignoli Cookies Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
*You can half this recipe with no trouble, as I know the ingredients are expensive!
Serves: 4dz cookies
  • Good Quality Almond Paste 2- 7ounce packages (392g) (14ounces total) (approx 1½c)
  • Egg Whites Large 4 (120g)
  • Granulated Sugar 1 ¼ cup (250g)
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon
  • Salt Pinch
  • Pine Nuts as needed 1- 5 ounce jar will be fine
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Mix the almond paste on low speed to break it up, and smooth it out.
  3. If you find that your almond paste is a bit dry and/or hard, you can add just a tiny bit of egg white to help break it down and smooth it out.
  4. Add the granulated sugar all at once, and mix on medium speed until it is light and fluffy.
  5. Lower speed and slowly add the egg whites, taking care to scrape the sides of the bowl as you go.
  6. Transfer the macaroon paste to a pastry bag with just the coupler and no tip inserted.
  7. Pipe onto a parchment lined sheet pan. It is your option what size you prefer. I pipe them to about 1" diameter. Be sure to space them about 1" apart n the sheet pan to allow for some spreading.
  8. Top each macaroon with Pine Nuts.
  9. Bake in preheated 375°F oven for approximately 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.
Cool cookie completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months wrapped in an airtight container.





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  1. Been a long time since I had these. Thanks you for sharing. I have to make these for my dad for Christmas — they will make him so happy!

  2. I like pine nuts! “Pignoli” is a rare or archaic translation, today we call them “pinoli” (even the dictionary ). And they are pricey here in Italy too. I usually pay 5 to 7 euros for 100 g!
    I’ll try these as soon as I can find a good quality almond paste. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. I just looked the video, and the paintbrush tip was great! Thanks again.
      And by the way, the “translation thing” above was only for info (there was a smile after the word “dictionary” but it got lost :-))

  3. I love pine nuts and find the best prices at Sam’s or Costco – large bags that I keep in the freezer so they don’t spoil.
    Gotta try this recipe before Christmas for sure! thank you!

  4. Gretchen, wanted you to know i used the freezing the cookies trick on Monday, it worked like a charm!!! Not one broken cookie!!!

  5. Hi Gretchen.

    I want to make these cookies. Can I substitute the pine nuts for another kind of nut? Pecans, hazelnuts or macademia nuts possibly?

  6. This cake looks amaaazing!! For the raspberry filling, how much frozen raspberries did you use? You forgot to put that part. Thanks!!

  7. Hi Gretchen

    Because you shared the recipe of Almond paste, I would like to try this cookies. Can you please tell me the substitute for eggs in this recipe. Thank you.

  8. thanks so much for this delicious recipe. I have been following both of your blogs and I can’t seem to find the kits you were selling.

    1. Hi Thanks!! I’m not currently selling them. I was sitting on inventory for sooooooo long and finally sold the last one. Im not sue if I’ll be getting them again. Seems there’s not too much demand for them. 🙁

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