4.47 from 13 votes
Vegan Italian Pignoli Cookies by Pasta-based. Someone is picking up a cookie from the tray.
Vegan Italian Pignoli Cookies
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

A vegan remix of the chewy, soft, classic Italian holiday pignoli cookie. Made with almond paste and studded with mild pine nuts (also called pignoli).

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian, Vegan
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories per Serving: 182 kcal
Author: Pasta-based
To make vegan almond paste (makes 8 ounces):
  • 1 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • pinch of salt
To make vegan pignoli cookies (makes 24 cookies):
  • 8 ounces almond paste
  • 1/2 cup earth balance buttery sticks* (softened at room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup pignoli (pine) nuts
To make the almond paste:
  1. Add slivered almonds to a food processor and pulse to make a fine almond meal. 

  2. Add powdered sugar, water, almond extract, and salt and continue to pulse until a sticky dough forms.

To make pignoli cookies:
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, beat almond paste, butter, sugar and almond extract with a hand-mixer until creamy.

  3. Sift all-purpose flour and baking powder into bowl. Using a spoon, mix to combine until a smooth cookie dough forms. 

  4. Pour pine nuts into a shallow bowl or dish. Roll a tablespoon-sized piece of dough into a ball.

  5. Gently push the dough ball into the pine nuts, smushing to flatten a little bit and letting the nuts stick to the top of the dough.

  6. Place dough on a prepared baking sheet, nut-side up. Bake at 325°F for 20 minutes. Let cool.

Recipe Notes

*If you can find the soy-free earth balance buttery sticks, get those instead of the original. Some people have found that the flax oil in the original recipe has a funky taste.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Italian Pignoli Cookies
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 182 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 34mg1%
Potassium 90mg3%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 2g4%
Calcium 32mg3%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.