Pignoli cookies are one of those SUPER traditional Italian cookie recipes. You may know them as pine nut cookies. Pignoli is the Italian word for pine nut.
It's one of those rolled cookie recipes that you need to plan a bit ahead for the dough to chill. It's a very basic butter cookie recipe. What sets it apart is when the pine nuts roast with the cookie as it bakes. There's just something delish about butter and pine nuts mixed!
The recipe is a very basic sugar cookie recipe. The addition is the pignoli's. Or pine nuts. I choose to display the pine nuts with a little flair - only because it makes a prettier presentation. I have added colored sugar to the top before baking also.
If you want to make a design with the nuts make sure to press them in with a fork after you have cut the cookie. These guys won't "puff up" and surround the nut. So you kind of have to make that happen by gently pressing after you have your design "staged".
If these pignoli cookies aren't exactly what you were looking for - scroll below and you can see all the Italian cookie recipes I have on my site. Click on the photo and it will lead you to the recipe.
There are a few substitutions (not many) but I did talk about those in the section below. Thank you for visiting -
* 1/2 cup UNsalted butter
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1 egg
* 1 1/4 cup white flour
* pine nuts - plan on at least 1/4 of a cup
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees
* Blend the butter, vanilla, and sugar in a medium to large bowl.
* Add the egg and beat it.
* Stir in the flour and mess with it enough so that it's blended.
* Take out a piece of wax paper or saran - and roll your dough into a log.
* I use the saran or wax paper as a rolling surface first. So I roll on the paper/saran and then wrap up the log.
* Stick the dough in the fridge - and make sure you have the ends sealed so it won't dry out.
* Leave that dough in the fridge at least 2 hours.
* Cut the log into slices - NO thicker than 1/4 of an inch.
* Lay the pine nuts on the cookies in a decorations, or heck, you can just scatter them. There is no rule about it.
* Bake about right up to that "gold on the outside" stage.
I'd shy away from it. Here's why. This is a basic sugar dough. The unique part is the pignolis (pine nuts). They will roast while the cookie is baking. And the oils will really flavor the cookie. If you use almond extract you will mask the true oil from the pignoli and that's what these cookies are all about.
I'm sure you can. But you don't want to lose site of what these are - pignoli cookies. So if you choose a spice or a zest - be sure it compliments and doesn't over power. I just posted the basic traditional recipe. Just remember, your nonna, or nana may not approve of you messing with tradition too much. ;-)
Back to the top of the pignoli cookies.