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Home > Italian Dessert Recipes > Brutti ma Buoni

Brutti ma Buoni

These crunchy-chewy cookies are called brutti ma buoni in Italian, or "ugly but good". The cookies don't look so attractive but vanish from the serving plate in minutes. For these cookies you will need only hazelnuts, sugar and egg white.

They are perfect for those intolerant to gluten because they don't have any flour in it. The exterior is wonderfully crisp and the interior soft and chewy. 

These cookies have a crisp exterior with soft and chewy centre. This is yet another traditional cookie recipe that can be found in many versions across Italy. We found that this recipe is our favourite one for these delicious cookies. Brutti ma buoni are ideal for enjoying with an afternoon cup of coffee.

For more delicious cookies, be sure to check out our recipes for Baci di dama cookiesAlmond cantuccini and Crispy spice cookies!


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Brutti ma Buoni

COOKS IN: 40 minutes


  • 2 egg whites
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 100 g hazelnuts
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Spread the hazelnuts on a large baking tray and toast for about 8 - 10 minutes or until the nuts are fragrant and the skins blister. Transfer the hazelnuts to a kitchen towel and let cool, then rub them together to remove their skin.

  2. In a food processor, pulse the hazelnuts until finely chopped. Scrape the hazelnut mixture into a medium bowl. 

  3. Place the egg whites and salt in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat until soft peaks are former. Gently fold in hazelnuts.

  4. Line the baking tray with baking paper and grease it so the cookies don't stick to it. Spoon the batter on the baking tray with a tablespoon about 2 cm apart.

  5. Bake the cookies for about in the oven preheated to 140°C for about 15 - 20 minutes or until dry and firm to touch. Let the cookies cool before serving.

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