Monday, March 28, 2011

Pignoli Cookies

Mike's Pastry in Boston's Italian-American North End. Over the years, I have reminisced of their Pignoli and Pistachio Nut cookies and on many occasion, have been tempted to splurge and order some by the pound online. They were my style of cookie to attempt.  Light, airy and not too sweet.

Note on recipe: The cookies came out more granular in texture than expected. Maybe I used too much almond meal (since I measured ground almonds rather than pre-ground ones). Next time I will try using just 2 cups of almond meal and adding 1/2 cup more of confectioners sugar to dough for a hint of sweetness.

Note on yield: Two dozen. This batch was made for a small birthday celebration and I should have doubled the recipe. Even though there were other sweets to choose from, the cookies were all gone by the end of the evening. I am not usually one to brag, but perhaps there is some correlation here to how well-liked they are at first meeting.

Original recipe and how they are supposed to look can be found here:
Deborah Mele - Pignoli Cookies

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Pignoli Cookies
(Adapted from Deborah Mele)

8 oz (2 1/4 cup) almond meal
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 tsp almond extract
8 oz pine nuts
parchment paper
confectioners sugar to dust

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Sift together almond meal, the two sugars and flour. Mix in egg whites, one at a time. Mix in almond extract.

Line cookie tray with parchment paper.

Use a spoon to measure out a dollup of cookie dough and place on tray. Add some pine nuts to the exterior of the dollop. About 12 cookies should fit per cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Yield: 24 cookies

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