2 Weeks Until Christmas

Wow, Christmas is approaching with it's normal speed, but otherwise nothing is normal! My family is still undecided about traveling, so I am undecided about getting a tree. I have put lights up outside and now my thoughts turn to Christmas cookies. When I lived in Philadelphia, my sister and I would get together and have a great bake off day; snowballs, two kinds of biscotti, decorated gingerbread creatures, M&M cookies, everyone's favorite Pignoli cookies and always one new recipe we'd never tried. Our Pignoli recipe comes from my sister's Italian boss. It is super easy, only 5 ingredients! They are best within a day or two, but they usually don't last that long!

The other thing I've often done this time of year is competing in gingerbread competitions. This photo is of Gaudi's Gingerbread House, which I created in gingerbread for the National Gingerbread Competition in 2009. The competition is held every year at The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. So much fun!

Pignoli Cookies
Yields: 16
Prep Time: 0 hours 10 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 45 mins
12 oz.almond paste, crumbled
1 1/3 c.powdered sugar
2large egg whites
3/4 tsp.kosher salt

1 c.pine nuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine almond paste, sugar, egg whites, and salt in food processor and pulse until smooth. Place pine nuts on shallow plate. 
  3. With slightly dampened hands, roll dough into 1" balls. Roll balls in pine nuts, pressing lightly to stick. Arrange balls on prepared sheets and flatten slightly to form a 1 1/2" round.
  4. Bake 16 to 18 minutes until lightly golden. 
  5. Let cool on cookie sheet 1 minute, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.