Gluten free Italian pignoli cookies are perfect for Christmas. You might like to add these wonderful Italian almond and pine nut cookies to your easy gluten free baking list for the holidays. You only need 5 ingredients to make the best Italian Christmas cookies too.
Along with almond paste, the main ingredient, you need sugar, pine nuts, egg whites, and salt. The sweetness of the almond paste pairs beautifully with the earthy, nutty taste of the pine nuts. Being crisp on the outside but chewy on the inside makes these almond and pine nut cookies perfectly delicious.
How to Make Easy Pignoli Cookies
Add the almond paste, sugar and salt to a food processer and pulse a few times until it’s the consistency of sand. Next add the egg whites to make a soft dough. Divide the dough into pieces to make the cookies. You should get about 25 gluten free Italian pignoli cookies from the mixture.
Roll each dough ball in pine nuts then arrange them on parchment paper lined baking sheets. Silicon baking mats would be an alternative. Finally bake them, allow them to cool and dust in powdered sugar.
Known in Italy as ‘amaretti con pignoli’, these are one of the best Italian Christmas cookies. I just love that nutty flavour! The following pignoli cookie recipe is an authentic recreation of the classic cookies that you’ll find in any Italian bakery during the holidays.
How to Store Gluten Free Italian Pignoli Cookies
These don’t tend to keep that long, so if you aren’t going to eat the almond and pine nut cookies within a day or so, freeze them. You can thaw them as needed.
As for pine nuts, they are rich in oil meaning they spoil quicker than some other nuts. They will keep for about 4 weeks at room temperature. Else keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 months or freeze them for up to 9 months.
One interesting fact about a pignoli cookie recipe is if you bake them for longer they will come out chewy while if you bake them for less time they will be softer.
It’s definitely worthwhile adding this pignoli cookie recipe to your easy gluten free holiday baking list. They are naturally free from gluten since they are made from egg whites and almond paste rather than flour and other typical cookie ingredients.
Even if you aren’t especially looking for a gluten free recipe, these are delicious and special. They’re a great idea for fans of nut cookies since you can enjoy the amazing flavours of both almonds and pine nuts in these.
How to Serve Gluten Free Italian Pignoli Cookies
These are lovely with coffee or hot chocolate. They’re a festive type of cookie but whenever you’re craving almond and pine nut cookies these are perfect, Christmas or not!
Can You Make a Low Carb Pignoli Cookie Recipe?
One great thing about these gluten free Italian pignoli cookies is you can make them keto-friendly! So if you’re looking for easy gluten free holiday baking ideas with fewer carbs, make these.
Ensure you’re using 100% almond butter instead of sweetened almond paste and swap the sugar for Swerve or your favourite artificial sweetener. Sprinkle finely ground sweetener over them before serving.
Made this way, they will only be 1 or 2 net carbs per piece, making them ideal for keto eating! These are perhaps the best Italian Christmas cookies if you want a low carb idea.
Do You Have to Use Pine Nuts?
Well the main ingredient in almond and pine nut cookies is pine nuts. However, if you love nuts but aren’t keen on pine nuts, you can make a variation of the recipe.
Sub slivered almonds for the pine nuts and you can still enjoy a nutty tasting cookie. They won’t be authentic pignoli but they will still be delicious! Another idea would be rolling the dough in chopped mixed nuts.
If you do love pine nuts then by all means use those. Feel free to go ahead and add more to the recipe if you want. There is no such thing as ‘too many pine nuts’ so roll the dough in pine nuts until they’re completely covered, to make the very best and most traditional Italian pignoli! You can often find large bags of pine nuts at Costco for a great price.
Find these cookies and others in my holiday cookie box
If you like this pignoli cookie recipe, you might also like Gluten Free Stained Glass Christmas Cookies, Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Meringue Kiss Christmas Cookies or Homemade Torrone Italian Nut Nougat.
Gluten Free Italian Pignoli Cookies Recipe
Gluten Free Italian Pignoli Cookies
- 16 Ounces almond paste
- 1 1/4 Cup granulated sugar
- 8 Ounces pine nuts
- 3 egg whites large
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare one or two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or silicone baking mats
- Pour the pine nuts into a small bowl or onto a small plate.
- Place the almond paste into a food processor with the salt and sugar. Process by pulsing until combined into a sandy texture.
- Once the mixture is nice and sandy, add in one egg white at a time, giving a few pulses between each egg white. After adding the final egg white, run the food processor until it creates a soft smooth dough.
- Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, scoop enough dough into the palm of your hand to create a 1” round ball. Roll the dough between your palms until it is a nice round shape. The dough may be a little sticky, so you can use a little oil on your hands if needed to help prevent sticking.
- Take the ball of dough and roll into some pine nuts, then place onto your prepared baking sheets, about 2 to 2.5” apart.
- Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until they are slightly golden.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Let me know if you try to make these gluten free almond and pine nut cookies for Christmas. These pignoli cookies are the BEST Italian Christmas cookies and always a family favourite. Perfect for Christmas holiday cookie exchanges or cookie boxes.