Pinolate (Ligurian Pine Nut Cookies)

Pinolate (Ligurian Pine Nut Cookies)

These simple Ligurian pine nut cookies have a wonderfully chewy soft centre with a crisp outer and delicious nutty flavour. Also called pignoli or amaretti con pignoli, they’re traditionally made with a mix of bitter and sweet almonds. As bitter almonds can be hard to find, I use marzipan mixed with some ground and slivered almonds for texture. They soften a little when stored, so are best eaten within 24 hours of baking.

Makes 12–15

Ingredients
  • 200g marzipan, chopped
  • 50g slivered almonds
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 100g ground almond
  • 2 egg whites
  • 45g pine nuts
  • Icing sugar, for sprinkling
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Place marzipan, slivered almonds, sugar and half the ground almond in a small food processor and blitz to combine.
  3. Add egg whites and blitz to form a soft dough.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and stir in remaining ground almond.
  5. Spread pine nuts on a small plate.
  6. With moistened hands, roll walnut-sized pieces of the dough into balls.
  7. Flatten them slightly and press the top into the pine nuts; place on a baking paper-lined oven tray, nut side up.
  8. Bake for 10–15 minutes, until firm and lightly coloured.
  9. Set aside to cool, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.

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