Brutti Ma Buoni
Do you ever make a recipe that calls for egg yolks only, leaving you with leftover egg whites? I sure do, and as a result, there are usually at least three containers in my freezer containing leftover egg whites. After thawing, they’re as good as using fresh egg whites, and they’re perfect for making these delicious cookies from Rosemary Molloy’s “Authentic Italian Desserts.” They’re also perfect for anyone on a gluten free diet, since no flour is involved. They’re called “brutti ma buoni,” or “ugly but good,” but I think that’s a misnomer. I wouldn’t call them ugly at all. Homely, maybe, but not ugly. And boy are they good. It’s hard to stop eating these, so make a double batch and watch them disappear.
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- 2 large egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a 10 x 14 inch baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the sugar and salt and beat on medium speed to combine.
- Fold in the hazelnuts.
- Pour the mixture into a medium pot over low heat and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, gently stirring continuously with a wooden spoon.
- The mixture is ready when it becomes a light brown color and has thickened.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and place heaping tablespoons on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool completely before serving.
Homely yes and maybe a bit ugly but I’m way OK with that. Some of the best dishes I’ve tasted were a bit ugly. When I first saw the recipe I though Italian meringue, but then I see you cook the mixture. I must ask, what is the texture like?
It’s very crunchy.
I’ve had these cookies many times, as my sister-in-law always them and substituted walnuts which my husband loved more than the hazelnuts. They were always part of her cookie tray. at holidays. They are wonderful and a good way to use up egg whites.
Funnily enough I haven’t made brutti ma buoni yet—but I need to. They sound delicious. And not that ugly after all, I agree.
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