Not too long ago I ventured into a supermarket that was closing down. The supermarket vultures were swarming over the sparse remains of the product on the shelves, but not me. I casually picked up a couple of things here and there but nothing too crazy...I mean really what was I going to do with a dozen light bulbs or ten boxes of cake mix...even if they were really, really cheap. But then I turned down an aisle and I saw them sitting there on a shelf and they were just calling my name. I felt like I had just won the lottery or discovered the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In front of me sat eight...yes eight cans of almond paste! And to make things even better they were less then $2.00 a can. I swiftly looked over my shoulder watching out for the vultures and then in one swoop motion I swept every last can off the shelves and into my cart. Determined to let no one learn of my discovery and incredible savings I beelined for the checkout and checked out of the store.
If you have ever baked with almond paste you know what a prize this truly is. Almond paste is a staple in any baker's kitchen, especially an Italian's kitchen. If you've baked with almond paste before too, you also know how expensive it is. It's no wonder why pignoli cookies and rainbow cookies are so expensive in bakeries. Making homemade almond paste from a recipe I discovered on Pinterest is definitely going to be in my near future once my stash of almond paste runs out.
So far I've made a couple of things with the almond paste but by far my favorite has been pignoli cookies and my husband agrees. This is a great recipe I found ages ago and have been using ever since. It's such a simple recipe and these cookies are a breeze to make. Not too sweet and both chewy and light at the same time. I think they are a perfect addition to any holiday or occasion and should be on everyone's must bake list.
Yield: 2 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes I Bake Time: 15-18 minutes
- 1 can (8 ounces) almond paste
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 1/2 cups pignoli nuts (pine nuts)
In a large mixing bowl beat the almond paste and sugars until the mixture becomes crumbly. Then in another bowl beat the egg whites until they become nice and fluffy and then beat them into the almond paste and sugar mixture. Don't overbeat the dough, just enough until everything is nicely combined.
Using an ice scream scoop or spoon form 1/2 inch balls of dough and press them into the pignoli nuts covering all sides. Place them on a greased baking sheet or on a parchment paper lined pan and bake approximately 15-18 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned.