Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Carmela Soprano's Biscotti d' Pinoli - Pignoli Cookies

I can't believe it.
We've come to Carmela's final dessert recipe.

And it's really simple.
Only four ingredients.

The big surprise is that the recipe is in Bobby Bacala's chapter If I Couldn't Eat, I'd F**king Die in Artie Bucco's The Sopranos Family Cookbook.

Yes, Bobby's recipes are often in the The recipe is interesting to read,
but I'd f**king die if I had to go to the trouble to make this category.
But his recipe for Biscotti d' Pinoli - Pignoli Cookies - is really simple.

Pignoli, or pine nuts, are actually seeds about the size of slivered almonds.
Don't kill yourself trying to find them.
They're not as popular as almonds.
The slivered almonds will do just as well.

A bit of an aside…
In Italy a fussy, fastidious, meticulous person is called a Pignolo.
Don't be a Pignolo about your pignoli.

If you like the simplicity of these cookies try the recipe for Almond Macaroons.
If the gang is coming over, make both.
Yes, both of these cookie recipes are that easy.

If the dough is too dry, beat in another tablespoon or so of beaten egg white.
The batter should be soft and sticky.
Be sure to cover the cookies well with the nuts.
This will help prevent them from sticking to the baking sheet.

If you are using slivered almonds and want to kick up the flavour,
add a teaspoon or so of almond extract.

If you do manage to find pignoli, get an extra bag and make Italian pesto sauce.
Yes, there are quite a few variations.
Carmela has a recipe for Poached Chicken with Pesto.
Even lovelorn Adriana has a recipe for Linguine al Pesto.
Hey, pignoli are just seeds.
As a snack they have to be healthier than a lot of the processed stuff in the stores.

Also pine nuts can be pressed to extract pine nut oil, which has a mild, nutty flavour.
According to one study Korean pine nut oil may suppress appetite.
So check where those pine nuts came from.
Assuming you can find them in your store.

                        Biscotti d' Pinoli

Makes 30

Grease a large baking sheet    
preheat oven to 350ยบ 

In the large bowl of an electric mixer combine
8 ounces almond paste, crumbled
Beat in
2 large egg whites beaten (or a bit more)
1 Cup confectioners' sugar
Beat until smooth.

In a small bowl place
2 Cups pignoli nuts or slivered almonds

Drop a tablespoon of the batter into the nuts and roll it into a ball.
Drop the ball back into the nuts to coat the cookie.
Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet.
Repeat with remaining batter and nuts, placing the cookies 1 inch apart.

Bake 20 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned.
Let cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets.
Using a thin metal spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks.
Cool completely.

Dust the cookies with
confectioners' sugar
Store in airtight containers or in the freezer up to one month.

Would I make Biscotti d' Pinoli again?
It's quick and easy.
And, in January, it's a great way to use up the almond paste.

One recipe down.  One more to go.

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