Although many people think of biscotti only as the double baked, hardened treats that we dip in our coffee or tea, biscotti is actually a generic Italian term for "cookie".
Roman pastry shops abound with pastries, cakes, cookies, and confections made with almonds. Some of the world's best almonds come from nearby Sicily and they are widely used throughout Italy. It is no wonder then that Biscotti con Pignoli (pignoli cookies made with almond paste), originated in Sicily. The sweetness in these cookies is very subtle, and the chewiness of the cookie works well with the crunchiness of the pignoli.
I have been making these cookies for over 40 years, and I still can't get enough of them. I always keep a bag of pignoli in my freezer just in case I get a craving!
Biscotti con Pignoli
3 cups almond paste (not marzipan), coarsely crumbled
1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup pine nuts
Pulse almond paste in a food processor until broken up into small bits, then add confectioners sugar and salt and continue to pulse until finely ground, about 1 minute.
Beat together almond mixture, egg whites, and honey in electric mixer at medium to high speed until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place pine nuts on shallow plate. With lightly floured hands roll dough into 1 inch balls. Coat balls in egg whites, shaking off excess, then roll in pine nuts, pressing lightly to stick. Arrange balls on cookie sheets, and flatten slightly to form a 1-1/2 inch round.
Bake cookies until golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, place on parchment paper and set aside to cool.
TIP: If you like a the cookies a bit sweeter, you can dust them with confectioner's sugar when they come out of the oven.