pignoli breakfast biscuits

These soft nutty lemony Sicilian biscuits are served at breakfast in Italy with an espresso and are really popular at special holidays like Christmas and Easter. I like them all year round for breakfast with my coffee or after dinner when I fancy something sweet.


Makes about 16

  • 75g sugar
  • 200g plain flour 
  • 75g of mild olive oil or butter (or Naturli vegan spread for a dairy free version) 
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 200g pine nuts 
  • the zest of one lemon 
  • 1 tsp of baking powder 
  • a shallow baking tray lined with parchment 
  • Icing sugar to dust (optional) 


Preheat the oven to 180c. 

Put the sugar, flour, lemon zest and baking powder into a food processor. Whizz up and then add the egg yolk and vanilla and pulse till you have a dough. If it’s still dry and bread crumby add a tablespoon or two of cold water. Tip onto a board and knead most of the pine nuts in, leaving some to put on top.

Roll into 1 inch balls and place on the baking tray with lots of space between for when they spread out during baking. Squish the rest of the pine nuts on top of the biscuit balls. 

Bake for about 10 minutes or until the pine nuts are golden. Don’t over bake as they become too dry.

Leave to cool on the tray. Dust with icing sugar and serve. They can be stored in an airtight container for a week in the fridge. 

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italian breakfast cake

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