Pignoli Cookies {paleo,dairy, grain, gluten free}

By , On September 25th, 2014, In: Dairy Free, Paleo/Grain Free, Sweets, Uncategorized, Videos

15-18 Servings ~ 12-15 minutes
Home » Dairy Free » Pignoli Cookies {paleo,dairy, grain, gluten free}


  • 2 cups blanched almonds
  • {how to below}
  • 1 cup date sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 3-4 tbsp. water
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • coconut oil to grease pan

My brain often likes to daydream about food {are you with me} and the other day it was consumed with those Italian beauties called pignoli cookies!!!  If you have ever had one you know what I am talking about; the moist delicate sweetness of almond goodness.

However, my usual MO is to look at traditional recipes and see how I can clean it up and still make it taste the same, delicious way.  The only problem was the base of this cookie is made with almond paste and every one I found in the store was full of corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors.

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed as I looked at several recipe’s steps on how to make almond paste because quite truthfully, I don’t want to spend that kind of time in the kitchen to make a cookie!  I took all of the extra work of making almond paste out of this traditional Italian cookie and somehow ended up with a winner and half the sugar!  This was a prodigious feat as far as I am concerned because it is half the work and double the yum!


Disclaimer: This is probably the most {date or any other} sugar I have used in a recipe but it is still half of traditional recipes.


Make sure that you don’t boil the almonds longer than 1 minute or they will become too soft. In this picture the almonds are floating to the top because the skins are separating making them buoyant. If you look close they are all wrinkly and almost ready to be drained.


This picture is the blanched almonds that I squeezed between my fingers to get the skin off like most recipes said to do. The skinned almonds you see there took me F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Between the almonds launching across the room out of my fingers to the slow pace of peeling/squeezing the skin off, I was aging by the second; mostly because of my impatient nature. You are dealing with a girl who doesn’t like green bananas. Just give me ripe please!! Anywho, the video below is my way of getting it done faster!! Can I get an Amen?!


Pignoli Cookies {paleo, dairy, grain, gluten free}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 15-18
  • 2 cups blanched almonds {how to below}
  • 1 cup date sugar
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp fine pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 3-4 tbsp. water
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • coconut oil to grease sheet
  • 2 tbsp. sucanat sugar for sprinkling tops {optional}
  1. Fill a 4 quart pan with water ¾ full and bring to a boil.
  2. Add 2 cups of raw almonds and let boil for 1 minute.
  3. You will notice the skin gets wrinkled, drain water immediately after 1 min.
  4. Spread almonds on a dish towel. Cover almonds with another towel. Let cool.
  5. Rub up and down alternating right hand and left so hands in opposite directions get friction.
  6. As you go along, separate almonds into a bowl and toss skins out.
  7. *Video shows you how easy the skins come off with little effort.
  8. To make cookie you will pulse blanched almonds in a food processor until fine flour forms.
  9. Add date sugar, shredded coconut, baking powder, sea salt and pulse until blended.
  10. In a separate small bowl combine oil, egg whites, water. Add to dough pulse until it forms a ball.
  11. With a spoon, scoop dough {about 2 tbsp.} and roll into a ball and flatten into pine nuts.
  12. If adding sugar on top of cookie, press in sugar first then press in pine nuts.
  13. Place cookies on a lightly greased sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes until slight golden in a 350 oven.
Using wet hands helps with the sticky dough as you roll and press pine nuts into cookie. These cookies do not spread so you can place them close on sheet. Keep in mind the date sugar will make this cookie browner than a traditional pignoli cookie. If color is an issue you can use half xylitol sugar and half of another granular sugar. For health reasons we do not use white refined sugars.

[vimeo id=”107077923″ width=”620″ height=”360″]

With a Spoonful of Health,


Related Posts

3 Comments on "Pignoli Cookies {paleo,dairy, grain, gluten free}"

  1. Kayla Ellers September 25, 2014 at 8:47 am - Reply

    These were so delicious. I was so impressed with how soft and yummy these were! You definitely need to try these!

  2. JK September 25, 2014 at 11:34 am - Reply

    if you just wanted to use almond flour that you already have – would this work and how much, 2 cups flour?

    • Dawn Rofrano September 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm - Reply

      Hi JK! That is a great question. I am sure it will turn out delicious just maybe not the same as this recipe. I would think 2 cups but it is an educated quess. Please let me know if you make them so I can share with others. I prefer using my own almond flour with skins on for all the other nutrients but for the sake of the Italian pignoli I blanched them. Something happens when you blanch the almonds and take the skin off it acts like the “almond paste” that other pignoli cookies use. I promise you the blanching part is super easy with my method in the video! Munga!

Leave A Response

Rate this recipe: