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Brutti ma Buoni

You will love this classic Piemontese cookie, straight from Italy! Based on an original recipe kindly sent in by Jack McNulty.

Time 15 Minutes
Skill Level Intermediate

Ingredients List

Serves 22
  • 100 g egg whites medium egg whites (or two large egg whites)
  • 200 g sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 250 g hazelnuts (chopped)
  • 1 medium orange zest (optional)


  1. Make a soft meringue with the egg whites and sugar and add a pinch of salt.
  2. Fold together the hazelnuts and meringue, adding the orange zest (optional).
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large saucepan, and cook gently over medium-high heat. The mixture will stick to the pan, so it is important to constantly stir the mixture until it is stiff and slightly brown.
  4. Pour the batter onto a clean work surface and cool by turning it onto itself.
  5. Spoon dollops onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper. No need to make them look nice – remember, the English translation for this cookie is ugly but good!
  6. Bake in a pre-heated 150° C for about 15 minutes, then turn up the heat to 160° C and continue to bake an additional 4-5 minutes. The cookies should be golden on the bottom.
  7. Transfer to a rack and cool before digging into them. Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days (you can also freeze these cookies by completely baking them, cooling completely and placing them on a baking tray in the freezer – once frozen, transfer to a zip-lock bag, and place directly in a pre-heated 170° C oven for 3-4 minutes before eating).

Jack McNulty takes you through the recipe step by step