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Almond Pine Nut Cookies

Makes about 30 cookies

2 (7-ounce) tubes almond paste

1 cup sugar

2 large egg whites

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

1 1/2 cups whole pine nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Crumble 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-sized balls by rolling between the palms of your hands, then roll the dough in the pine nuts until coated, then place on baking sheets. Bake 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.

Excerpted from Lidia's Italy in America by Lidia Bastianich. Copyright © 2011 by Lidia Bastianich. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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