Biscotti may be the stars of Italian cookies but pignoli cookies are the talented understudies just waiting to be discovered. Pignoli cookies are mildly sweet yet have a full-bodied nutty flavor from almond paste that lingers pleasantly on your palate. The crispy exterior reveals a chewy interior that gently pulls away as you bite it. Once you taste a pignoli cookie, you may just think it's a star. —Food Blogga
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Pulse 1/4 cup of the pine nuts in a food processor until coarsely ground. Break the almond paste with your hands; add to the processor; process until just mixed. Add the sugar; process until mixture is crumbly. Add the egg whites and vanilla; process until the dough begins to come together. Add the flour and salt; process until fully blended and smooth.
Pour the remaining pinenuts into a small bowl. Using a teaspoon and slightly moistened hands, take about 1 teaspoon of batter and roll it into a ball. Gently drop the ball in the pine nuts and turn until completely coated. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
Cool on racks. Dust with powdered sugar before serving, if desired. Stored in an airtight container, cookies should last for 7-10 days.