Sunday, December 16, 2012

Daddy's Pinoli Cookies

Special note: As many of you have heard, my Dear Father, Rito Cioffi of Scarsdale, New York, passed away from Heart Failure complications on November 18, 2012.  Only a short month ago, he had asked me to make these cookies for him at Christmas.  Strange that I have never made these cookies before.  They  are so readily available in the New York area and my Uncle is in the Pastry and cookie business.  He still insisted I make them.  I promised I would, so here they are.  There is a sense of peace for me  that comes from life's simple pleasures.  He told me that day, they will make us feel better.    Who knew?  These are for you Daddy!    I will be making them again upon my Mother's arrival on Thursday. I can't Wait.  Buon Natale! Merry Christmas!

8 ounces almond paste Made fresh or available out of can (See previous post on Home Made almond Paste). DO NOT USE THE TUBE VARIETY.
1/2 cup all purpose
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
approx. 8 ounces pinoli loose in a bowl
2 large egg whites
In a bowl of a food processor, pulse your almond paste a few seconds to break apart. Then add your sugars and pulse. Cover the top of your bowl while you do this for a few seconds. Slowly add your egg whites with your machinue running on low. In a few seconds, notice your mixture softening and creamy. Set aside for few minutes in the refrigerator if it looks to creamy. You should be able to pick it up with your fingers. If yo yu can't, add some more flour. It's very forgiving. Wet your hands some. Using a tablespoon, scoop up some of the mixture. Using your hands, roll lightly and flatten. Pass the cookies in the pinoli. The pinoli will stick to the cookie. Don't worry about the mess. They will not burn if you keep an eye on them. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet / several inches apart. I made about 20, 1-1/2 inch cookies.
Bake in a 300F, preheated oven for 25-27 minutes. The bottoms should be golden, but your tops should be a lighter color. You will also notice a slight crackling of the cookie itself.  Do not worry, let cool and Enjoy!
Pass the Amaretto please!
(Please watch that cooking time, as ovens will vary).
Thank you to Italian Food Forever for the Reminder and a great recipe post that made me give this a test and a try. I have tweeked it just a bit. You know how I love tradition here at Sunday at the Giacometti's. This recipe can be made Gluten free too. Omit the Flour entirely if you like. You will not get a fluffy cookie, but it will still be delicious. Buon Natale! 

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