Pine Nut Cookies (Pignoli)

Because pine nuts are only produced on trees that are over 25 years, only in certain areas of the world, and sometimes harvested by hand, you can understand why pine nuts are so expensive to buy. So here is a recipe to highlight this wonderful nut, in a crisp biscotti-like cookies  – an Italian staple, enjoyed along with an espresso.


In order to get the mixture finely ground, a food processor is a must to prepare these cookies.


A cookie scoop works the best for shaping these cookies. Release the shaped cookie dough into a bowl of pine nuts, and press the nuts onto the rounded surface to adhere (if shaping by hand; roll into a ball then flatten the bottom slightly). Don’t coat the bottom with nuts. Because these cookies will spread, only place 6 cookies per sheet.



Pine Nut Cookies (Pignoli)

Marla Hingley
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 32 mins
Servings 24



  • In a food processor combine ¾ cup of the pine nuts, icing sugar, almond paste and vanilla, pulse until fine crumbs form. Add egg, pulsing to combine.
  • In another bowl whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. Add to food processor, and pulse until dough comes together. Chill dough 30-45 minutes.
  • Place remaining pine nuts into a small dish. Roll dough into ¾” balls, then roll in nuts, pressing to adhere (leave bottom free of nuts). Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cookies will spread so only put 6-8 cookies per baking sheet.
  • Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes, or until edges start to turn golden.


For more flavor add 1 tsp orange zest
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
See also
Cranberry, White Chocolate & Macadamia Nut Cookies


Similar Posts


  1. 4 stars
    We bought a bag of pine nuts in their shells a long time ago. My mother and I decided that you would starve to death eating them, and that we would happily pay the high price for someone else to do that work!

  2. I’ve been making these wonderful Italian cookies for years. The recipe I have uses no flour and is naturally gluten free. So my theory is, why mess with success?

  3. I’m allergic to almonds-,& walnuts. What can I use instead? What is icing sugar? Very fine sugar?
    Pat can you send the flour free recipe?

  4. I use the recipe in Lidia Bastianich’s cookbook for these wonderful cookies. I don’t know if you could use it here but you can find it online. It is the only one I have ever used. It’s just almond paste, eggs whites and sugar and of course the very costly pine nuts. I make them using the food processor so it is really simple.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating