Pine Nut Cookies and Afternoons in the Pineta

Yes, Biscotti ai pinoli.  These lovely, puffy, plump crispy-chewy pine nut cookies came about today, when I decided to use up the last of my homemade almond paste.  So I leafed through some cookbooks, got some ideas and developed this quick and easy recipe.  I’m very fond of pine nuts, and will admit that I can eat them by the handful.  The fresh, aromatic taste brings back memories of summer in Italy, when I was a child.  Sometimes, my parents would spend a couple of weeks in the pretty beach town of Silvi Marina, in Abruzzo, a quaint , sunny village spilling out on the Adriatic Sea, on the Eastern coast of Italy.  After sweltering mornings spent on the long, golden-sand beach, we would go home for lunch, then take a pisolino (a brief afternoon nap mandated by my father).  After, in the early evening, we would travel around the area, often ending up in the cool pineta, a little park by the shore, shaded and perfumed by imposing pine trees. On the ground below the pines, hundreds of pine cones dotted the grass, and we children had a feast picking them up and removing the tender, fragrant pine nuts, oval-shaped and ripe, and eating them just like that.  Oh, what a wonderful Pesto would those pinoli make…Here is the recipe for my cookies: I can feel the balmy breeze of my summery once-upon-a-time…

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