Pignolia Cookies Recipe
Ingredients:2-1/2 cups (1/2 lb.) slivered almonds
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 egg whites, at room temperature
1-1/4 lbs. (5 cups) pignolia (pine) nuts
Directions:1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Spread the slivered almonds on a baking sheet and toast them on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Toss them occasionally. The toasting will bring out the flavor of the nuts. DO NOT LET THEM BROWN, but only color slightly. Remove the almonds from the oven and let them cool.
2. In a food processor fitted with metal blad, grind the almonds to a paste. You can use a blender, but grind the almonds in small batches.
3. Place the almond paste in a mixing bowl, and using the back of a wooden spoon, work in 1 cup of sugar until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
4. By hand or with electric mixer, beat the egg whites into a meringue. Once they begin to hold their shape, gradually beat in the reamining 1/2 cup of sugar. Continue to beat the whites until they are stiff, but not run dry. With a spatula, gradually fold the meringue into the almond paste, creating your macaroon base.
5.Turn the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Line two large aluminum baking sheets with kitchen parchment or aluminum foil. DO NOT USE black steel sheets or the cookies will burn on the bottom.
6. Spread the pignolia nuts on a large platter. With a small metal spoon, scoop up the rounded tsp of macaroon mixture. Using another metal spoon, gently push the mixture from the first spoon onto the pignolia nuts. Using both spoons, toss until you have a rounded cookie that is well coated with the pignolia nuts. Finally, place the cookie from the spoons onto one of the lined baking sheets. Continue with more cookies, placing them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet until the sheet is filled. The cookies will flatten out a little as they bake. If your oven is not large enough to hold two sheets on a single rack, bake the sheets of cookies separately, forming the second when the first is almost baked.
7.Bake the cookies on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. They should be light golden brown. Remove the cookies from the parchment or foil to a wire rack to cool. (it may be necessary to peel the parchment or foil from the cookies.)When the cookies have completely cooled, store them in an airtight container. They will keep for at least a week. Makes about 40 cookies.
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