Makes about 30 cookies
These cookies appear at every Italian holiday. They are simple to make, keep well for a week or more, are a great gift to give and to receive, but most of all they are delicious. Some like them chewy, some like them crunchy; the degree of crunchiness is only a matter of how long you bake them. The longer you bake them the crunchier they become.
- Two 7- ounce tubes almond paste
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
- 1½ cups pine nuts, left whole
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Crumble the almond paste into the work bowl of a food processor, and process until the paste is in fine crumbs. Sprinkle in the sugar with the motor running.
Once the sugar is incorporated, add the egg whites and orange zest. Process to make a smooth dough, about 20 to 30 seconds. Spread the pine nuts on a plate. Form the dough into 2- tablespoon- size balls, roll and press to coat in pine nuts, then place on baking sheets. Bake in the upper and lower third of the oven, switching trays halfway through baking, until lightly golden and springy to the touch, about 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool completely.