Spiced Pignoli Cookies

Pine nuts have such incredible and delicate flavor in both savory and sweet dishes. Classic basil pesto sauce just isn’t the same without them! They are also incredible baked into classic Italian cookies called pignoli cookies. My Nana Lulu would make these and I lived for them. This week I put a twist on them and incorporated the wonderful Lebanese spices that I learned from my Nana Jeanie to get the best of both of my grandmothers! These spiced pignoli cookies were so flavorful and full of texture. The flavor key was the fantastic Middle Eastern spice called mahlab, just like in my Lebanese pastry. It generally comes in seed form and that is perfect for this recipe. It can be hard to find in the store but I get it from my favorite spice shop here!

The dough for the spiced pignoli cookies came together quickly in my food processor. Almond paste and an egg held it all together without needing any butter. So I like to think that these are relatively guilt free.
The dough for the spiced pignoli cookies came together quickly in my food processor. Almond paste and an egg held it all together without needing any butter. So I like to think that these are relatively guilt free!
I took that dough and rolled little balls of it in more pignoli nuts. That gave the spiced pignoli cookies such a fantastic crunch. The flavor of the pignoli nuts also deepened so gloriously when they baked!
I took that dough and rolled little balls of it in more pignoli nuts. That gave the spiced pignoli cookies such a fantastic crunch. The flavor of the pignoli nuts also deepened so gloriously when they baked! I used my 1.5 inch cookie scoop and I got a dozen cookies out of the dough.
When the spiced pignoli nuts came out of the oven they were golden perfection! I was so excited! I could smell the almond paste and the spices and it perfumed the whole kitchen. There is nothing like the smell of baking.
When the spiced pignoli nuts came out of the oven they were golden perfection! I was so excited! I could smell the almond paste and the spices and it perfumed the whole kitchen. There is nothing like the smell of baking.

Once the cookies cooled, I couldn’t wait to snack on one. Oh my goodness they were nutty, crunchy, sweet and gorgeously spiced. It was everything I was craving in a cookie! Best of all they were a yummy tribute to both of my grandmothers. Hope you all enjoy! xoxo

Spiced Pignoli Cookies
Spiced Pignoli Cookies
5 from 3 votes
Spiced Pignoli Cookies
Spiced Pignoli Cookies
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

These spiced pignoli cookies are so simple to make and an amazing snack! They are an Italian classic cookie with a bit of a Lebanese twist for a perfect combination. 

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Cookies, Spiced Pignoli Cookies
Servings: 12 cookies
Calories: 205 kcal
Author: Jeanie and Lulu's Kitchen
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups pignoli (pine) nuts divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond paste
  • 1 tablespoon Mahlab seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Set up a food processor and combine 3/4 cup of the pignoli nuts, sugar, almond paste and mahlab seeds in its bowl. Pulse them together until they are fine crumbs. Add the vanilla and egg in next and pulse them in until a wet dough. Lastly add the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder and pulse them in just until they disappear.
  2. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of pignoli nuts into a shallow bowl. Then scoop out a mound of dough using a heaping 1.5 inch cookie scoop and roll it into a ball. Roll the ball in the pignoli nuts and gently press the nuts in to coat the dough. Transfer the dough to the lined sheet, press it down into a disc and repeat until you have a dozen cookies on the tray. Bake the spiced pignoli cookies for about 20 minutes, until they are golden and baked through.
  3. When they are done let them cool on the sheet for a couple of minutes, then transfer them to a rack to finish cooling. Enjoy them right away or whenever you'd like. They will keep in a sealed container for 3-4 days!
Nutrition Facts
Spiced Pignoli Cookies
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 205 Calories from Fat 103
% Daily Value*
Fat 11.4g18%
Saturated Fat 0.9g6%
Cholesterol 14mg5%
Sodium 6mg0%
Potassium 116mg3%
Carbohydrates 24.9g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 19.2g21%
Protein 3.3g7%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Spiced Pignoli Cookies
Spiced Pignoli Cookies

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20 thoughts on “Spiced Pignoli Cookies”

  1. I’ve never heard of this kind of cookie before, but it looks delicious. I’d love to try making these sometime. They sound like they’d go well with tea.

  2. I’ve never tried this kind of cookie, but it has so many of my favorite ingredients. I’ll definitely give them a try! Thanks!

  3. Your post is so detailed that I felt like I was there making these cookies with you! Can’t wait to make them soon. Thanks for sharing

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve never hard of this type of cookie before. They looks so good AND easy to boot.

  5. What?! I can’t believe I’ve never tried these cookies! I love pine nuts!

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