Sunday, August 8, 2010


I had some friends over for dinner yesterday...they love Italian food, so I was excited to be able to cook for them, especially since it meant I got to try out a few of the Italian recipes I grew up on! This is not one of them. It's a classic Italian cookie, but not a family recipe. It is, however, one of my all-time favorite cookies, and now I know how to make them at home (which is excellent, since the nearest Italian pastry shop is a solid 2 1/2-hour drive away!). I will not be making them on any regular basis, however, since these delectable little morsels are not cheap. Between the almond paste and the pine nuts, they cost a pretty penny to make...but they're well worth it! Just don't make them for a crowd!

(recipe from

  • 8 oz. almond paste (the kind in a can, not a tube)
  • 1 c. white sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3/4 c. pine nuts

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Meanwhile, pulse together the almond paste and sugar in a food processor--the goal is to form a crumbly mixture. If you process for too long, or let it sit for too long after processing, it will glob up into a big ball that is difficult to work with. So, as soon as the almond paste and sugar are in crumbs, add them to the whipped egg whites. Carefully fold the mixture together until it is well-combined.

Drop by rounded teaspoon (or by your smallest cookie dough scoop) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray. Top each cookie with a generous sprinkling of pine nuts. Bake at 325 degrees F for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around the edges (note: the original recipe says to bake for 10-12 minutes, but mine were nowhere near done at that point). Let cool on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack. Yield: 2 dozen cookies.

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