This local pastry chef represents Houston at the “Spring Baking Championship”


HOUSTON – Season 8 of the popular Food Network competition, Spring Baking Championship, has a new batch of contestants creating treats to impress judges Duff Goldman, Kardea Brown and Nancy Fuller.

One of those contestants is an Italian native who now lives in Houston.

His name is Diego Chiarello, pastry chef and owner of La Sicilia Italian Bakery & Café, who stopped by to talk about his experience on the hit baking show and shared an easy pine nut cookie recipe that you can do at home.

To see the full interview and Chiarello’s recipe, watch the video above.

Spring Baking Championship airs Mondays at 7:00 p.m. CT on Food Network and streams on discovery+.

To contact Chiarello, click here.

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Diego Chiarello shows off his pignoli cookies (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.)


– 1 ½ lb marzipan

– 1 ½ cups of sugar

– 1 cup of icing sugar

– 4 egg whites

– 1 lb of pine nuts (pignoli)


Preheat your oven to 350.

Add 1 ½ lbs marzipan, 1 ½ cups sugar, 1 cup icing sugar and 4 egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer or just your favorite bowl if mixing by hand.

Mix until you get a sticky dough.

Scoop out enough dough to form a ball of dough about 1″. Add the ball of pine nuts and use your hands to crush the pine nuts into the ball of dough. Be careful not to overwork the dough otherwise the pine nuts will not stick.

Continue in this way until you’ve used all of your dough and each ball is perfectly covered with pine nuts.

Place your pine nut encrusted dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe provided by Diego Chiarello.

Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston – All Rights Reserved.


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