Pignoli Cookies

Gluten Free Pignoli Cookies Recipe

What? Another cookie recipe? You bet! In fact, December may just turn out to be all cookies, all the time, here at Gluten Free & More! I mean, how do I pick out just one favorite cookie at holiday time? It is like trying to pick a favorite pair of shoes – impossible! Fortunately, I don’t have to pick.

If you have never had gluten free Pignoli Cookies, I urge you to literally stop what you are doing and make some – right now! Crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside, sweet and utterly sublime – these cookies remind me of an old favorite I have not had the pleasure of spending time with in the last couple decades … almond croissants. There is a reason these cookies are traditional Italian Christmas favorites – they are not only incredibly delicious and naturally gluten-free, they are a snap to make and only have 5 ingredients.

Pignoli means Pine Nuts in Italian so obviously one of the ingredients is pine nuts. Who doesn’t love pine nuts? When baked on top of these cookies they become toasty and almost buttery.

The base of this cookie dough is almond paste. Not almond pie filling or marzipan but pure almond paste. I use Solo Brand which is sold in cans on the baking aisle of the grocery store. I love this stuff not just for these cookies but for other gluten-free baking as it adds structure to gluten-free baked goods and as we all know, when you take out gluten, you run the risk of taking out the structure. And this almond paste tastes AMAZING!

Lately I have been doing all my holiday baking with Wholesome Sweeteners’ organic sugar. Not only is the sugar GMO free (always a good thing), unbleached and organic but because of the way it is milled it adds a really mellow sweetness to my cookies, cakes and pies. A little of the natural molasses is left in the sugar crystals when it is milled which just gives my baked goods this really wonderful sweet something special!

I made these cookies on Daytime TV for my monthly gluten-free segment and as soon as the cameras stopped rolling, they were gobbled up by the cast and crew. Click here to see my cooking demonstration of this recipe on Daytime TV!

Gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free never, ever tasted so good!

Gluten Free Pignoli Cookies


4.24 from 17 votes
Pignoli Cookies
Print Recipe

Gluten Free Pignoli Cookies Recipe

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 36 cookies
Calories: 57kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More


  • 1 (8-ounce) can pure almond paste (not almond filling or marzipan)
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • Pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup pine nuts


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Break almond paste into small pieces and put into the bowl of a food processor. Process until almost smooth. With the processor running, gradually add the sugar through the feed tube. Turn off the processor, add salt and egg whites and then process until it turns into a batter. Using a small (1 tablespoon) ice cream scoop or a spoon, drop the dough onto the prepared pans, spacing 2 inches apart. Press a few (3 or 4) pine nuts onto each cookie.
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the cookies are firm and lightly browned. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Pignoli Cookies Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 57 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Sodium 3mg0%
Potassium 28mg1%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Sugar 7g8%
Calcium 11mg1%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: 5-Ingredient Almond Paste Celiac Cookies Easy Gluten-Free Gluten-Free Recipes Holiday Italian Pignoli Pine Nuts Sugar
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  1. Helene
    December 15, 2010

    I love that you do cookie posts. Have fun baking.

  2. judee@glutenfreeA-Z
    December 15, 2010

    I have never had this kind of cookie. They look so good, I do feel like running and making some right now..

  3. Jenn
    December 16, 2010

    I love these cookies. Great simple recipe! I've often had a bit of trouble finding GF almond paste, but it's pretty easy to make it from scratch too using egg whites, almonds, powdered sugar, and a little bit of almond extract, pretty much combine in the food processor til you have tasty almond paste :)

  4. The InTolerant Chef
    December 16, 2010

    I'm glad Jenn exlained the almond paste as I've never seen it for sale over here- but it sounds yummy!

  5. Wendy @Celiacs in the House
    December 16, 2010

    Oh, Carol. These sound so good. I'm not much for really sweet cookies so these are very appealing and simple. I like simple.

  6. Maggie
    December 16, 2010

    Carol you have been so busy baking! I think I'll move to your house next holiday season. Is that okay?

  7. Anonymous
    December 16, 2010

    Hi, i just want to say hello to the community

  8. Stephanie
    December 16, 2010

    I agree, December should be cookie month all the time… so many great treats you have been making. Yum!

  9. themommybowl.com
    December 16, 2010

    I had one of those just the other day. I love them but don't tend to make them because, well, I'd eat them all. Bad for the hips, ya know. :)

  10. Lexie's Kitchen
    December 16, 2010

    Wow! Easy peasy! Again, you're looking as lovely as ever on camera. :)xoLexie

  11. The HealthNOW Doctors
    December 17, 2010

    Hi Carol,Those pignoli cookies do bring back memories of going to Italian relative's homes over the holidays.Yum! Can't wait to try them.By the way, if by some necromancy you can figure out a way to make anything resembling a croissant you would be an even bigger heroine to me!!

  12. Pingback: Gluten Free Pasta with Pistachio Pesto :: Gluten Free :: Gluten Free Recipes | Simply Gluten Free

  13. Maria Mathews Knowles
    October 6, 2013

    Do these freeze well?

    1. CarolKicinski
      October 8, 2013

      Yes they do! In fact I like them still a little frozen :)

  14. Meghan
    December 4, 2013

    Sounds yummy! Can you suggest another nut for topping? My son is allergic to pine nuts. Wondering if almond slivers or pistachios might work? Thanks!

    1. CarolKicinski
      December 8, 2013

      Hi Meghan, I use almonds all the time with these cookies when I am put of pine nuts and pistachios would be great too! Enjoy.

  15. Pingback: Gluten Free Pasta with Pistachio Pesto Recipe | Simply Gluten Free

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