Pignoli are popular Italian cookies made with almond paste and egg whites, topped with golden pine nuts and a light dusting of powdered sugar. In our award-winning version, we add freshly grated lemon zest and a splash of extra virgin olive oil for a bright and citrusy take on this Sicilian classic.
Preheat oven to 325°F/165°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (see note), and set aside.
In a food processor, combine the almond paste, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and salt. Pulse until combined and no lumps remain. Add the olive oil and egg whites, and process until smooth and evenly blended. Transfer the dough to a bowl.
Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet. Continue placing rounds of dough on the sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between each one—you should end up with 12 cookies per sheet. Gently press pine nuts over the surface of each mound of dough, using about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of nuts per cookie.
Bake until the cookies are light golden around the edges and the centers are set, 15 to 20 minutes—if baking both sheets at once, swap positions of the sheets halfway through to ensure an even bake. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely—if the cookies seem too soft to transfer, let them continue cooling on the baking sheet until firmer and easier to handle. Once cool, lightly dust each one with powdered sugar. Serve room temperature or chilled, and enjoy!