Gluten Free Pignoli Cookies Recipe
What? Another cookie recipe? You bet! In fact, December may just turn out to be all cookies, all the time, here at Simply…Gluten-free! I mean, how do I pick out just one favorite cookie at holiday time? It is like trying to pick a favorite pair of shoes – impossible! Fortunately, I don’t have to pick.
If you have never had gluten free Pignoli Cookies, I urge you to literally stop what you are doing and make some – right now! Crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside, sweet and utterly sublime – these cookies remind me of an old favorite I have not had the pleasure of spending time with in the last couple decades … almond croissants. There is a reason these cookies are traditional Italian Christmas favorites – they are not only incredibly delicious and naturally gluten-free, they are a snap to make and only have 5 ingredients.
Pignoli means Pine Nuts in Italian so obviously one of the ingredients is pine nuts. Who doesn’t love pine nuts? When baked on top of these cookies they become toasty and almost buttery.
The base of this cookie dough is almond paste. Not almond pie filling or marzipan but pure almond paste. I use Solo Brand which is sold in cans on the baking aisle of the grocery store. I love this stuff not just for these cookies but for other gluten-free baking as it adds structure to gluten-free baked goods and as we all know, when you take out gluten, you run the risk of taking out the structure. And this almond paste tastes AMAZING!
Lately I have been doing all my holiday baking with Wholesome Sweeteners’ organic sugar. Not only is the sugar GMO free (always a good thing), unbleached and organic but because of the way it is milled it adds a really mellow sweetness to my cookies, cakes and pies. A little of the natural molasses is left in the sugar crystals when it is milled which just gives my baked goods this really wonderful sweet something special!
I made these cookies on Daytime TV for my monthly gluten-free segment and as soon as the cameras stopped rolling, they were gobbled up by the cast and crew. Click here to see my cooking demonstration of this recipe on Daytime TV!
Gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free never, ever tasted so good!
- 1 (8-ounce) can pure almond paste (not almond filling or marzipan)
- 1 cup organic sugar
- Pinch of kosher or sea salt
- 2 egg whites
- ¼ cup pine nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Break almond paste into small pieces and put into the bowl of a food processor. Process until almost smooth. With the processor running, gradually add the sugar through the feed tube. Turn off the processor, add salt and egg whites and then process until it turns into a batter. Using a small (1 tablespoon) ice cream scoop or a spoon, drop the dough onto the prepared pans, spacing 2 inches apart. Press a few (3 or 4) pine nuts onto each cookie.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the cookies are firm and lightly browned. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
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