Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Community Table: Biscotti di Pignoli

Pine nut macaroons.  They are the simplest cookie.  My mom made these at Christmas every year.  Like a lot of other moms, she made dozens of cookies at that time of the year.  Pink and green butter cookies that were piped out of pastry bags, cookies with rainbow sprinkles, snickerdoodles,  chocolate peanut butter clusters and, of course, pine nut macaroons.  I always ate too many of the chocolate peanut butter clusters.  They were definitely good but in that I'm-a-kid-and-I-get-to-eat-junk-food-today kind of good. I would always bring the pretty butter cookies to school.  The snickerdoodles were paired with hot chocolate on Christmas Eve so that we could leave a plateful for Santa.  Sadly, I overlooked the pine nut macaroons.

Maybe its that they sounded like cookies for grown-ups.  If you give any child a choice between chocolate and pine nuts, you know what they will choose.  Besides, they have no fancy colors or gooey texture.  They are just good.  Good in the way that something that has only four ingredients can be.  There is nothing fancy for these ingredients to hide behind.  I have seen other recipes that have flour and butter but for me it takes away from the taste of the sweet almond paste.

I like all the cookies my Mom makes but now I reach for the pine nut cookies first.

Biscotti di Pignoli

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 16 oz. almond paste (if you are from Napoli you would make your own from ground almonds, if you are not you can find it in 8oz cans a the supermarket)
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • Confectioners sugar for sprinkling (optional) 

The fifth ingredient on the far right, confectioners sugar, is an optional garnish.  Actually, this time we left it off.  Papa` was already brewing coffee before they came out of the oven so no time to make them pretty.
The cookie sheets are lined with parchment paper.  This is my Mom and her baking is very organized.  Ingredients and bakeware are lined up and promptly put away in the order she is done with them.
After you separate out the egg whites, beat them with a fork until you get a little foam on top.

Mix sugar and almond paste first.  While the mixer is on low add your egg whites.
A taste, anyone?
Dad drops in to taste the batter.
Spoon out batter with about an inch and a half between each cookie.  Sprinkle pine nuts on the top.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 300 degrees.
Serve with a good espresso!


  1. Did you bring any? :)

  2. stopped by to say hi as i haven't heard from you in ages (seems like that). how have you been? i'm noting this recipe. have you stopped sharing them thru foodbuzz. people miss it otherwise.