These are another typical Italian cookie from my friend's Mother, Mary Ferraro. If you plan on making them, make sure you take a trip to the ATM machine first as they cost a fortune to make. Last time I bought them, pignoli nuts were over $20 a pound. These are like gold when I make up Christmas cookie trays, and I allot only about 2 per tray!
3 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 pound almond paste (2 small cans)
1/4 cup flour
pignoli nuts (pine nuts) as needed (probably about 2 cups or more..I just buy a one pound bag and keep pouring them into a separate bowl until I'm done)
Beat egg whites until foamy.
Beat in sugars and add almond paste, then blend in flour to make a dough.
Drop 1/2 teaspoon of batter into a dish of pine nuts to coat.
Pat nuts firmly into dough.
Bake on parchment paper on ungreased cookie sheets at 375ºF for 15-20 minutes.
A few tips I have learned over the years:
1. Blend all of the pine nuts (I use a full 2 cups) into the batter rather than trying to press the nuts around each cookie. The nuts are less likely to fall off the cookie and adhere to the batter much better that way.
2. Almond paste in a can is usually quite stiff, and sometimes on the hard side. I soften it very easily by microwaving it. I put it in the microwave 10 seconds at a time and test each time until it gets soft enough to blend easily with the sugar and then the flour.
Posted by GourmetGal
December 20, 2010