Pignoli Cookies

Pignoli Cookies | Bakewell Junction

Pignoli Cookies | Bakewell Junction

I tried two recipes of Pignoli cookies.  I wanted to compare an old recipe I’ve made before side-by-side with a recipe that I got from my friend Chris.  The recipes are similar so the end result is also similar.  I think my favorite of the two turns out to be the newer recipe (Pignoli Cookies 1) Chris gave me.  It produces larger cookies with more pignoli (pine) nuts.  I may add the flavorings from the Family Circle recipe (Pignoli Cookies 2) to my friend Chris’ recipe and make it my go to recipe for Pignoli cookies.

Many people make this cookie for Christmas but, since Easter is right around the corner, these would be a great to finish off a special Easter dinner.  I didn’t think my hubby liked these cookies but to my surprise, he says they’re really good with coffee.

 Pignoli Cookies 2 | Bakewell Junction

Pignoli Cookies 1 

Yield:  24 servings                 Cook Time:  25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces almond paste (the almond paste in the can is still 8 ounces)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 ounces pignoli (pine) nuts (I weighted the nuts on an old scale my Grandmother had and it was about 2/3 cup),
  • additional powdered sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Directions:

Step 1:  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Sift sugars, flour and salt into a medium bowl.  Set aside.

Step 2:  Cut almond paste into small pieces.  I also run the almond paste pieces through my mini chopper, so that it looks like small grains.  This will help the paste mix better and there won’t be almond paste chunks in the cookies.  In separate medium bowl, beat egg whites and almond paste together until the mixture is smooth.  Add the sugar mixture to the almond paste and stir until combined.  Separate dough into 24 1 inch balls and place onto the prepared cookie sheet.  Press dough balls into 1 1/2 inch rounds.  Divide nuts 24 portions, remove skin on the tips of the nuts, if any, and press into the tops of the cookies.

Step 3:  Bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly golden on the edges.  Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool.  Serve at room temperature.  You can sprinkle with additional powdered sugar if using.

Recipe slightly adapted from my friend Chris.

Pignoli Cookies  2

Yield:  28 servings                 Cook Time:  15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces almond paste (the almond paste in the tube is 7 ounces)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract or 1 teaspoon dried orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup pignoli (pine) nuts

Directions:

Step 1:  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Cut almond paste into small pieces.  I also run the almond paste pieces through my mini chopper, so that it looks like small grains.  This will help the paste mix better and there won’t be almond paste chunks in the cookies.

Step 2:  In a medium bowl, beat one egg white, sugar and almond paste together until the mixture is smooth.  Beat in the remaining egg white and extracts.  Add the flour and mix by hand until just combined.  Separate batter into 28 balls and place on the prepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  This will be a sticky batter.  Remove skin on the tips of the nuts, if any, and cover each cookie with about 1/2 teaspoon of pignoli nuts.

Step 3:  Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool.  Serve at room temperature.

Recipe slightly adapted from Family Circle Bonus (12/12/00 edition) insert booklet by Michael Krondl.

This post may also be entered in these linky parties.  Click the here to visit the other great posts in the blog hops.

JWsMadeWLuvMondays

Advertisements

Venetians / Rainbow Cookies / Tri Color Cookies

Venetians / Rainbow Cookies / Tri Color Cookies by Bakewell Junction

Venetians / Rainbow Cookies / Tri Color Cookies by Bakewell Junction

I’m sharing a delicious recipe that I made a few weeks ago.  This Christmas my friend Chris sent over her cookies and they were unbelievably delicious.  She agreed to give me her recipe and they turned out wonderfully.

My prior attempt to make Venetians with a different recipe a few years ago didn’t turn out well at all so I hadn’t tried another recipe until now.  My husband and I won’t even eat these if they’ve been purchased because they just don’t taste good.  I can hardly believe how delicious these are.

Although there’s some extra steps in assembly, these cookies aren’t really too difficult to make.  I did learn some things while making this recipe.  My Apricot preserves had some apricot chunks in it and I should probably have removed the chunks (although there were no complaints, mind you).  My almond paste wasn’t broken up evenly and it didn’t incorporate evenly into the cake (again, no complaints).  I’ve added tips at the end of the recipe so you won’t run into the same things.

I hope you try this recipe because you will get what I call the “wow factor”.  When you serve these cookies, anyone that tries them will say wow.  So do you like these cookies from the Italian bakeries?  The cookies have so many names, what name do you use?

Enjoy!

Venetians / Rainbow Cookies / Tri Color Cookies

Yield:  48 or 64 cookies (depending on cut)                  Cook Time:  15 minutes

  • 8 ounces Almond Paste (I used the Odense 7 ounce tube)
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 4 tablespoons almond extract
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 drops red food coloring
  • 12 drops green food coloring

Icing and Filling

  • 1 12 ounce jar apricot preserves
  • 1 – 2 Special Dark Chocolate bars (I used a combination of Lindt and Ghirardelli)

Directions:

Step 1:  Spray 3 13 by 9 by 2 baking pans with cooking spray, line with wax paper and then spray the wax paper with cooking spray too.  I didn’t have three pans of this size, so I prepared my cakes one at a time.

Step 2:  Break apart almond paste until it looks like grains of sand and no lumps remain.  Step 3:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine almond paste, butter, sugar, egg yolks and almond extract.  Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add flour and salt. Mix until combined.  In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff.  Carefully fold into the batter.

Step 4:  Take 1/3 of the batter (about 1 1/2 to 1 1/3 cup) and add 10 drops of green food coloring.  Using a folding motion mix the food coloring throughout the 1/3 portion of the batter.  Add additional drops as needed to reach the color you want.  Spread the green batter as evenly as possibly in the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes until the edges become light golden.

Step 5:  Take 1/3 of the batter (about 1 1/2 to 1 1/3 cup) and add 10 drops of red food coloring.  Using a folding motion mix the food coloring throughout the 1/3 portion of the batter.  Add additional drops as needed to reach the color you want.  Spread the red batter as evenly as possibly in the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes until the edges become light golden.

Step 6:  Take the remaining 1/3 of the batter (about 1 1/2 to 1 1/3 cup) and spread as evenly as possibly in the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes until the edges become light golden.  Cool all three cakes completely.

Step 7:  Warm the apricot preserves in a bowl in the microwave at 30 second intervals while stirring between intervals.  Heat for a maximum of 1 1/2 minutes.  Place wax paper on a cookie sheet and then the green layer.  Spread 1/2 the apricot preserves on the green layer.  Place the untinted layer on top of the green layer.  Spread the remaining apricot preserves on the untinted layer.  Place the red layer on top of the untinted layer and cover with wax paper.  Place another cookie sheet on top of the layers and place weight on top.  Chill everything overnight in the refrigerator.

Step 8:  Remove the cookies from the refrigerator and remove the weight.  Cut the edges of the layers so there are clean edges.  The cut pieces are great for snacking.  Carefully melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave.  Spread the chocolate on the top and sides of the cookies.  Let the chocolate dry.  Turn the cookies over and spread chocolate on the bottom also.  Let the chocolate dry.  Turn the cookies over and cut into 8 by 8 pieces or 6 by 8 pieces.

Storing:  Store cookies in a sealed plastic container.

Tips:

  • Breaking up the almond paste can best be accomplished by breaking it into 1 inch by 1 inch cubes and using a food processor, mini chopper or blender to break it up completely.  If you don’t have access to any of these, you can use a grater to break it up.
  • When the apricot preserves are heated, you can remove any large apricot chunks before spreading.  Heating the apricot preserves allows the preserves to soak into the layers and cling together better.
  • To cut the layers into pieces, carefully use a sharp serrated knife.  Have the layers placed with the long edge closest to you.   Run the knife under hot water and dry it.  Cut the layers in eight slices (if you want larger cookies, make 6 slices) along the long edge of the layers.  To minimize cracking in the chocolate, start cutting in a sawing motion with the warm knife until you break through the chocolate; then press down until the knife cuts through to the bottom of the layers and chocolate.  You will likely need to repeat running the knife under hot water after four slices.  Turn the pieces that look like long narrow logs sideways.  Repeat running the knife under hot water.  Using the same sawing motion to get through the top layer of chocolate and then pressing down to cut through to the bottom of the layers and chocolate, cut each log into 8 pieces.  You will likely need to repeat running the knife under hot water for each log you cut.  Plus if some of the chocolate cracks, then you have a great snack.
  • Making these a few days ahead of time allows the flavors to meld and they taste even better.

Enjoy!!!

Recipe adapted from my friend Chris.

This post may also be entered in the following linky party. Click the button below to see the other great posts in the blog hop.

Foodie Friends Friday

BWS tips button

DC in Style