Cookies … Ugly but good

Ugly but good  ( Brutti e buoni  ) are hazelnut meringue cookies typical of Northern Italy, especially in Piedmont. They take their name from the “irregular” appearance, rough and therefore ugly, but absolutely delicious for the palate! They are crunchy on the outside, slightly soft on the inside, literally dissolve in the mouth like meringues!

Like any traditional recipe, there are different versions depending on the Italian region in which they were produced, such as  Bruttiboni di Prato , also known as San Clemente almonds, which look similar but are prepared with almonds. What I’m giving you today is the original recipe for ugly but good cookies from Borgomanero in the province of Novara, very popular in Italy This is a very easy and quick recipe!


about 25 pieces

  • 2 medium egg whites (75 gr)
  • 100 g sugar
  • 150 g whole hazelnuts
  • 1 sachet of vanilla sugar

First of all, whip the proteins perfectly stiff foam for at least 5 minutes. You need to get white and thick foam. 

Add sugar and vanilla sugar, continue to whip until you get a very firm and shiny meringue, it will take a few minutes.

Chop the nuts or grind, if necessary. However, it is worth leaving small pieces of nuts

Add hazelnuts to the meringue, mixing with a spatula from bottom to top. The cake, ugly but good , must be thick and very foaming.

Turn the oven on 130 ° C

Place baking paper on a baking sheet and form cakes.

Take 1 tablespoon of dough and let it slide onto the baking tray.

Bake at 140 ° C for about 15 minutes, and when the typical crust forms and the cakes start to turn color, lower to 110 ° and continue baking for another 25-30 minutes until they dry inside!

Let cool on a tin!

  • I baked in hot air on 3 plates.
  • you can make a version with walnuts … they are equally ugly and good ?

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