Pignoli Almond Cookies

From 6 Bittersweets
Reproduced with permission from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar
via the authors' blog with my comments/changes in brackets
Makes 2 dozen cookies

XIAOLU'S NOTE: Be careful not to let the margarine get too warm (including not handling the dough too much!

7 ounces almond paste, sliced into 1 inch cubes (not marzipan)
A pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine, softened [I used Earth Balance]
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 to 3 tablespoons almond milk for dipping [I used soymilk]

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a medium sized baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pulse almond paste, salt, baking powder and 1/3 cup sugar in a food processor until mixture is crumbly, about 1 minute.

In a large bowl cream together margarine and remaining 1/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add almond paste mixture and almond extract and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Sift in flour and beat until a slightly crumbly yet soft dough forms. Dough should form a soft mass when pressed together.

Pour pine nuts into a shallow bowl and pour 2 Tablespoons of almond milk into a small saucer. For each cookie, roll 1 tablespoon of dough in palms to form into a ball, dip one end in almond milk and press moistened end into pine nuts. If necessary press pine nuts into surface of ball. Place dough balls, pine nut side up, on baking sheet at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 14 minutes until cookies have puffed and spread a little, and nuts are are just slightly toasted. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes to firm up before carefully transferring to cooling rack. Store in a tightly covered container.

MORSELS: These cookies are super-soft right out of the oven, so be sure to allow them a full 5 minutes to firm up on the cookie sheet before transferring to racks to complete cooling.