Pignoli Cookies & the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Pignoli Cookies

I dare you to come up with something better than coming home after a long day of work and horrible commute to find cookies on your doorstep. This may be the season of giving, but I equally enjoy the giving AND getting part of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. This brilliant (global!) blogger party is hosted by Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen. Each blogger is assigned three recipients to send cookies to (no communication pre-cookies! Bake a dozen and send them off then one day in the not so far future–*BAM!* cookies on your doorstep. I was super excited to participate in my 2nd cookie swap, though this year was a bit different as it was my first time baking gluten-free.

I signed up in early October and since then, even before I knew my bloggers (who would also be gluten-free), I stressed about what to make. I’m not one for faking foods, turning this into that, but with GF baking, there’s not much room around it. That is, until my wonderful sister-in-law innocently posted her discovery of pignoli cookies being gluten-free. Little did she know, she saved my baking butt.

I was so excited to bake a naturally gluten-free good, that I didn’t really think about what ingredients I was messing with. Powdered sugar, egg whites, almond paste–making pignoli cookies is a sticky mess and requires A LOT of patience. Thankfully, after all that hard work I was rewarded with some AMAZING cookies from some of my new favorite bloggers. Candy Cane Brownies from Sabrina at The Tomato Tart, Chocolate Almond Oat Cookies from Jessica at Kettler Cuisine and Five Spice Ginger Cookies from Amanda at HeartBeet Kitchen. They were all so delicious–I need to amp up my gluten-free baking skills!

2014 Cookie Swap

Lemon Scented Pignoli Cookies (Adapted from Food Network) Makes 4 dozen

  • 24oz gluten-free almond paste
  • 1 c confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tbsp lemon powder
  • 1/2 c pine nuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line sheet trays with parchment paper.

Crumble almond paste until very finely broken down, either with your fingers or by pulsing in a food processor. Transfer almond paste to a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment.

Beat together almond paste and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Add the honey, salt, egg whites and lemon lemon powder and beat on medium speed until the mixture is well combined and very thick, about 5 minutes.

Fill a disposable pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip with the dough. Push the dough towards the tip and cut the tip off the bag. Pipe 1-inch balls onto the prepared sheet trays. Top with the pine nuts, pressing them into the dough to secure. Bake until the cookies are golden, about 15-18 minutes.

♦ ♦ ♦

Of course, you’re probably wondering where my cookies went to…I was pared with Gretchen at Kumquat Blog, Kristina at Cucina Kristina and Sarah at Snixy Kitchen.

Interested in signing up for next year’s Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap? Easy. Click here, fill out the form, then forget all about it like I did and you’ll get notified next fall. Happy baking!


9 thoughts on “Pignoli Cookies & the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

  1. Pingback: Black & White Almond Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free) - Cucina Kristina

  2. I wish I knew about this Cookie Swap a couple of weeks ago! I would have got myself organised (my bad though, I am so behind on my blogger reading and catching up with my favourite food writers… big apologies! This is a gorgeous post though – what a great way to connect with other bloggers. I can’t wait to make these gorgeous treats (one question, is almond paste like marzipan? I’ve never seen it!) xx

    • It is like marzipan but less sugar I think. You should sign up for the Cookie Swap list so you’re all set for next year! Don’t worry, I know what you mean about being behind. I try to post 2x a week, but lately I’m lucky if I manage 2x a month! I need to start reading up too.

    • It’s difficult to balance blogging with work I find. Never mind (I’ve only been posting once a month recently so you’re ahead of me!). I’ll see if I can track down some almond paste xx

  3. Pingback: The 2014 Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap Round Up Part 2 | The Little Kitchen

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