Monday, 15 December 2014



Literal translation? Pine nut.

Yet the most amazing macaroon is also called Pignoli. Its origins from the heart of Sicily. 
They are chewy and dense but can me made crispy if preferred. Simple to make; Sicilians definitely win the best cookie prize hands down!

Teaching an Italian cuisine cooking class to the students at a local High School was one of the most rewarding moments in my career. The beaming faces chewing these freshly baked Pignolis was like a thousand words of praise!  I was their "Culinary Tour of Italy" having just made an Italian flag lasagne, Chicken Cacciatore  and the Pignolis in their local backyard.

Some comments from this class can be read at

Freshly baked Pignolis


3/4 + 1/2 cup pine nuts
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup almond paste; crumbled
1 1/2 tsp grated fresh lemon zest
3/4 tsp vanilla
3 large egg whites
1 1/3 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Using the pulse button of your food processor simply turn on and off until a crumbly mixture forms,
3/4th cup pine nuts, the sugar, almond paste, zest and vanilla.

Add this to the egg whites and mix until just smooth. Now add the flour salt and baking powder and using the pulse button once again turn it off and on until just mixed.

Drop a tbsp at a time on the prepared two baking sheets lined with parchment. Press the tops of each pignoli with the remaining pine nuts. Should make about 28 cookies. If you want to make them with your hands wet your palms before rolling the balls, this dough is rather sticky.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes 350F/180C.

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Niloufer's Kitchen: Winter

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