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A close up of an Italian pine nut cookie
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5 from 1 vote

Pignoli Cookies (Biscotti ai Pinoli)

Delicious Pignoli Cookies (Biscotti ai Pinoli) made with ground almonds, egg whites, and crunchy pine nuts. These cookies are soft and chewy on the inside with a crispy and crunchy outside, so delicious and easy to whip up using a food processor!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 10 cookies
Calories: 240kcal
Author: Emily Kemp


  • 2 cups ground almonds (200g)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar (icing sugar UK) (65g) plus extra for dusting
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ½ cup pine nuts (50g)


  • Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Put the ground almonds (2 cups/200g), granulated sugar (½ cup/100g), powdered sugar (½ cup/65g) and a pinch of salt in a food processor and pulse a few times until just combined.
  • Add the egg whites (3 large), lemon zest and almond extract (1 tsp) and blitz everything together until thoroughly combined.
  • Put the pine nuts (½ cup/50g) into a clean bowl. Using wet hands roll the dough into 1 tablespoon balls around 1.5 inch in size. Drop each ball into the bowl of pine nuts so one side is completely covered then place on the baking tray.
  • Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until slightly golden around the edges. Let them cool completely then dust in extra powdered sugar.



  • Shaping the cookies - Make sure to roll the dough with wet hands, it's a sticky dough and will just stick to your hands otherwise. You'll need to wet your hands a couple of times as you're shaping them.
  • Size of the cookies - some tablespoon-sized cookie scoops are actually much larger than one tablespoon. The balls should be around 1.5 inches in size and make medium sized cookies once baked.
  • Flavour variations - you can opt for orange zest instead of lemon and choose different extracts to flavour your cookies.
  • Make a double batch - you can double the ingredients to make more cookies.
  • Storage - These cookies are best eaten within 2 days as they dry out quickly but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week or can be frozen.


Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 17g | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg