Brutti ma buoni means “ugly but good” in Italian which I love! This meringue-style cookie is typically made with almonds but this version uses hazelnuts. This recipe is from Del Posto, an upscale Italian restaurant in New York City. I love to make these cookies around the holidays, they are super easy! Tip: If you can’t find blanched hazelnuts, you can blanch skin-on hazelnuts yourself or opt for a different blanched nut all together.
- 1/2 lb (226 g) blanched hazelnuts
- 105 g egg whites (about 3 1/2 eggs)
- 1 1/4 cup (250 g) sugar
- 1 tsp (4 g) kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- If you need to blanch your hazelnuts, do so by spreading the nuts evenly on a baking sheet and baking at 325 F until they are lightly golden (about 15-20 minutes). Remove skins with a clean towel. Let cool and proceed with the recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 325 F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
- Toast blanched hazelnuts on a baking sheet, mixing around for even color until golden (about 20 minutes). Remove and let cool completely.
- Reduce oven temperature to 300 F.
- In a food processor, pulse cooled nuts to a fine powder (not a paste, do not over mix and make sure they are completely dry). Set aside.
- Next in the food processor, beat egg whites on medium-low until they become frothy (about 3 minutes), while the machine is still running, slowly add sugar. Continue beating for 5 minutes, increasing speed until the mixture becomes thicker and shiny (about 10 minutes).
- Fold in hazelnuts, salt, cinnamon and vanilla.
- Drop generous spoonfuls of batter onto the prepared baking sheets spacing them about 2 inches apart.
- Bake 35-40 minutes, you may need to rotate the sheets for even color. They should be lightly golden when finished.
- Let cool on wire racks. These cookies will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.