After a trip to Barcelona during which I sampled these cookies at Caelum, a pastry shop that sells the sweet made in monasteries, I decided to make them myself. The recipe is simple and they’re quick to make. These little almond and pine nut balls keep well for about 2 weeks. It’s the perfect recipe for nut lovers, with the delicate flavor of pine nuts shining through.
- Scant 1/2 cup / 85 g sugar
- 1 3/4 cup / 150 g finely ground almonds
- ¼ cup / 55 g egg whites
- 1 heaping cup / 150 g pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon bitter almond extract, optional (it masks the flavor of the pine nuts slightly)
Place the sugar and ground almonds in a mixing bowl.
Combine them, then add the egg white and almond extract, if using.
Knead the egg white in with your hands until the dough forms a ball.
Divide the dough into small balls weighing about ½ oz. / 12 to 13 g each, about the size of a walnut.
Look at the marvelous pine nuts I brought back from Spain.
Take a handful of pine nuts and place a ball of dough over them.
Close your hand round to press the pine nuts into the dough.
Make a ball covered with lots of pine nuts that won’t escape during baking.
Repeat the procedure with all the balls of dough.
Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180° C using the convection setting. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the pine nuts are golden. Depending on your oven, this may take a little less or more time, so keep a careful eye on them. Transfer to a cake rack to cool.
Store in an airtight container so that they don’t dry out.