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Italian Pignoli Cookie

Italian Pignoli Cookie are an Italian Sicilian classic cookie recipe. Similar to a macaroon. A crispy chewy and almond-y cookie, that is sure to become a family favorite, if it isn’t already.

Italian Pignoli Cookie is an italian sicilian classic cookie recipe that is similar to a macroon crispy chewy and almondy cookie | ahealthylifeforme.com

Christmas Cookie all about Italian Holidays.

The holidays are all about Family, Love, Faith and Presents.  

This week I will share a bit of our family and the holiday cookies they love.  I will have faith that you will love the recipes as much as we do and for the present part I am doing a Baking Bonanza Giveaway all week! (details below)

My husband was raised by an Italian mother. His paternal grandfather ran an Italian grocery store.  

He likes all things Italian, especially the food.  He has very fond memories of his mothers cooking when he was a little boy and still asks for her to make her artichokes for him when we visit, the man loves them.  

He also fondly talks of all the times he would work in his grandfathers grocery store or help him in his garden.

Jim at the age of 4, he is so darn cute!

Jim and his mother, Carmen at her 80th birthday party!

The perfect Christmas Cookie.

Of course his favorite Christmas Cookie is the Italian Pignoli.  

A chewy almond goodie topped with Pine Nuts (Pignoli in Italian).

I love the guy so darn much I always am sure to make a batch up for him.  

These seem to be the first ones to disappear off the cookie plate during the holidays, so make sure you treat the ones you love with a taste of these little Italian Biscotti.

If you are a fan of Italian cookies check out my recipe for Anisette Cookies.

Italian Pignoli Cookie is an italian sicilian classic cookie recipe that is similar to a macroon crispy chewy and almondy cookie | ahealthylifeforme.com

A plate of pignoli cookies, dusted with powdered sugar.

Italian Pignoli Cookies

Italian Pignoli Cookies are a classic Italian Sicilian cookie recipe. This crispy, chewy and almondy cookie is similar to a macaroon.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies


  • Baking Sheet


  • 8 ounces pine nuts pignoli
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Dash salt
  • 8 ounce can almond paste
  • 2 egg whites slightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla extract
  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting


  • Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with Silpat liners or parchment.
  • Place pine nuts (pignoli) in a shallow dish.
  • Combine granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar, flour and salt in a medium bowl and lightly toss.
  • Place almond paste in a mixing bowl of an electric mixer and mix to break up.
  • Add beaten egg whites and mix on low speed until smooth.
  • Add almond extract and flour mixture and beat until flour is blended in, about 30 seconds. Do not over beat.
  • Using a teaspoon or a cookie scoop, scoop up a rounded spoonfuls of dough and push into the pine nuts so that the pine nuts stick to dough. Ease the dough out of scoop, so that pine nuts are facing up on baking sheet.
  • Place 2″ apart and re-apply any loose nuts.
  • Bake cookies for about 25 minutes. Use the shorter baking time if you like soft cookies; the longer baking time if you like them chewy.
  • Cool 1 minute and remove to a rack to cool completely.
  • Dust with confectioners’ sugar.


Storing: Cool the pignoli completely before storing. Next, place them in an airtight container, with parchment or wax paper between layers of cookies if needed. Finally, keep the container in a cool, dry spot away from direct sunlight. They’ll keep for a week at room temperature, or up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Freezing: Pignoli cookies are great to make ahead and freeze, or to give as gifts. Package them the same way you would for storage, but pop the container in the freezer. Use them within 2 – 3 months for the best flavor.
Course: Cookie, Dessert
Cuisine: Italian


Italian Pignoli Cookie Recipe | ahealthylifeforme.com
Italian Pignoli Cookie is an italian Sicilian classic cookie recipe that is similar to a macaroon crispy chewy and almondy cookie. Sure to become a family favorite if it isn’t already | ahealthylifeforme.com

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46 comments on “Italian Pignoli Cookie”

  1. Avatar photo
    Nick DeStefano

    I was raised in Brooklyn NY and hve loved pignoli since very, very young . Now 79 and found your recipe…..
    Going to try it…sounds like I WILL like them…Maybe help sis in law some dough so shee doesnt have to send me any on birthday /anniversery, easter and Christmas..HA. thanks By the way ,I am first generation Italian Sicilian…My Dad came from Catania right near Etna what stories…….

  2. I have a recipe that I have been using for years but I’d like to try yours since it incorporates confectioners sugar and flour which my recipe doesn’t use. A little trick I have used to make the dough more manageable is to put the bowl with the dough right into the freezer for about 30 minutes before you spoon them out. You’ll find that they aren’t as sticky, and if your hands do start to get a little bit sticky, just dip your hand into a little water then form the dough into a ball and dip into the Pignoli nuts. Works great.

  3. i have tried a few recipes for pignoli cookies but this is the best…the cookies are so delicious. they taste and look like i bought them in a bakery. thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Thank you so much Patti. I definitely tried to get the recipe as close to the store bought kind as I could, so your compliment means a lot!

  4. Avatar photo
    Cookin Canuck

    It sounds as though your husband has so many good memories of time with his grandparents. I adore pignoli and can imagine how thrilled he was when you made these for him!

    1. It is pretty amaziing how we associate food with our memories. My hubby was pretty darn happy when I baked up a batch of these for him.

  5. Avatar photo
    Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet

    I need to asked my hubby if he is familiar with these! He’s from the north of Italy and I love making him Italian treats!

    1. Let me know what he thinks, I think I love every Italian pastry my mother n law has ever placed in front of me. I should have been born in Italy!

  6. Avatar photo
    Lauren @ Healthy Delicious

    I’ve seen these cookies at the bakery before but I never knew what they tasted like. I had no idea they were almond!

  7. Avatar photo
    Joanie @ Zagleft

    I love pignolis but have never made them myself. I grew up with an Italian grandmother who loved to cook and bake and can completely relate to the cooking memories. Such a great recipe, Amy. I’m looking forward to trying it.

  8. Avatar photo
    Kacey @ The Cookie Writer

    I never turn down another cookie recipe! I love how easy these look, and they are something I have never had before. I bet you have had some of the best Italian food!

    1. Yep my mother n law knows how to throw out some great food! We always look forward to sitting at her table.

  9. Avatar photo
    Faith (An Edible Mosaic)

    Italian cookies are always such a lovely addition to a cookie platter! I love the use of pine nuts and almond paste here – I bet they’re delicious!

  10. I have so many fond memories of these Pignoli cookies and my Italian heritage. I absolutely love them. This recipe looks delicious.

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