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Pine Nut and Orange Cookies

John Kernick

Yield: Yields about 28 cookies.

The addition of olive oil makes these tasty cookies moist and rich.


  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar; more for rolling
  • 3 Tbs. finely grated orange zest (from 2 medium oranges)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per cookie
  • Calories (kcal) : 70
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 35
  • Fat (g): 4
  • Saturated Fat (g): 0
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Cholesterol (mg): 10
  • Sodium (mg): 15
  • Carbohydrates (g): 9
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 1


  • Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.Toast the pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.

    In a medium bowl, stir the flour, sugar, zest, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pine nuts. In a small bowl, whisk the oil and egg and add to the dry ingredients. Mix with your hands until the dough is evenly moist and holds together when squeezed, 1 to 2 minutes.

    Fill a small bowl with about 1/4 cup sugar. Pinch off 1 rounded teaspoonful of dough (about 1/2 oz.). Shape it into a ball, coat it in the sugar, and set it in on a light-colored nonstick cookie sheet. Dip the bottom of a drinking glass in the sugar and flatten the cookie to slightly less than 1/4 inch thick. Repeat to make 13 more cookies.

    Bake until the tops are golden and the edges are brown, 9 to 13 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for several minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. While the first batch of cookies bakes, shape the remaining dough into cookies and arrange on a second cookie sheet. When the first batch is done, bake the second batch.

    The cookies will keep in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


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Reviews (3 reviews)

  • brava313 | 08/01/2012

    Crisp and delicate and just sweet enough to make a satisfying treat. I did make one minor modification: I used three parts all-purpose flour to one part whole-wheat pastry flour. This ratio worked fine. Lacking nonstick cookie sheets, I baked these cookies on regular cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

  • allsbrow | 02/13/2012

    Unexpected but loved by everyone who tried them.

  • Virgie | 08/16/2010

    These cookies were a big hit. I rolled them in sugar as directed, but used raw sugar on the bottom of the cup to flatten them down. This more course sugar added a nice crunch. I also made one batch with 1T Gran Marnier added, as suggested on this site, and found that the cookies are equally good with or without this change. What a nice, unique cookie, an unexpected surpise.

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