Brian and I go to an Italian conversation group on Sunday nights and tonight is the last class for this session. I wanted to take something to hand out to everyone and I figured what better then these Pignoli - Italian pine nut and almond cookies. Brian loves these cookies and I even love them, and I'm not much of a cookie person at all. These are very light and have no egg yolk or butter in them. And you can't believe how great they are with an espresso until you try them.
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makes about 35 - 40 cookies, depending on the size you make them
- 1-1/4 cups pine nuts (plus more for garnish)
- 1 cup whole raw almonds (not roasted)
- 1/2 cup sugar (8 tablespoons, divided)
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large egg whites, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread 1-1/4 pine nuts and the almonds on a baking sheet. Toast about 8 minutes. Let cool.
Grind nuts in a food processor with 6 tablespoons sugar until finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl. Add orange zest and salt. Mix thoroughly.
Beat 2 egg whites until fluffy. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the vanila and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into nut mixture.
Line baking sheets with either Silpat or parchment. Form cookies into balls, about 2 teaspoons each. I use a melon baller and dip it in water when it gets sticky. Flatten cookies slightly. Brush with the last egg white and press a few pine nuts in the top for garnish.
Bake until slightly golden about 14-15 minutes.