Pecan PignoliPublished on Sunday, December 15, 2019
I have always loved pignoli and was looking for a way to get rid of some extra pecan halves that had been in my freezer for nearly a year. My parents send me a large bag from Texas every Christmas, and I never manage to use them all before the next bag arrives. The recipe I tried to adapt, though, did not seem to have enough internal strength to hoist a full pecan half, as the end result sagged and flattened rather than puffing into a chewy dome as happens when using pine nuts (which are much smaller and lighter). Next time, I think I will coarsely chop the pecans into pieces roughly the size of pine nuts and roll batter scoops in said pieces instead of applying a full half to each cookie.
This was my first time making pignoli, and I was not expecting dosing out the batter to be quite as difficult as it turned out to be. It would have been easier with a one tablespoon cookie scoop instead of using a tablespoon measure.
I was also surprised at the material cost per cookie. The main ingredient is almond paste, which sells for ~$6.50 for a seven ounce tube at my local grocery store. Each batch uses a full tube, which translates to a materials cost of $0.50 - $0.60 per (small) cookie. Between the expensive ingredients, the difficult-to-handle batter, and the deflating center, I do not think I would bake this recipe again without serious changes.
- 83 grams sugar (powdered)
- 7 ounces almond paste
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 egg white
- 0.25 teaspoons salt
- 20 pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Toast pecan halves until fragrant and just beginning to brown (about five minutes).
- Pulse powdered sugar and almond paste in food processor until combined.
- Add the salt, honey, and egg white, then pulse until mixture is even and smooth (about one minute).
- Arrange one tablespoon scoops of batter on a parchment paper-lined half sheet pan. (You will not be able to move scoops once they are on the parchment paper, so place with care.)
- Place one pecan half on each batter scoop.
- Bake until cookies turn golden brown and firm around the edges (about 15-18 minutes).
- Let cookies cool on sheet pan until room temperature. Carefully peel cookies from parchment paper and transfer to an airtight container.