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Brutti ma Buoni (Ugly but Good Cookies)

Brutti ma Buoni (ugly but good) are delicious Italian cookies made with meringue and chopped hazelnuts. They're crispy and crunchy with a slight chew, deliciously sweet and totally addictive. Made with just 3 simple ingredients and super easy to make!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 15 cookies
Calories: 111kcal
Author: Emily Kemp


  • Electric whisk (can also use hand whisk)


  • 2 medium egg whites
  • 1 and ½ cups blanched hazelnuts (200g) see notes if you can’t find blanched
  • ½ cup caster sugar (superfine) (100g)

If making chocolate Brutti ma Buoni

  • 2 ounces dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa) (50g)


  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C). Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Tip the hazelnuts onto a baking tray and toast them in the oven for 10 minutes until lightly golden. Let them cool then pulse them in a food processor until roughly chopped (you can also do this with a knife).
  • Put the egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric whisk, beat the eggs until they become frothy and white. Start to add the sugar gradually whilst whisking until they turn into a thick, stiff and glossy meringue.
  • Add the chopped hazelnuts and stir together. Tip the mixture into a large saucepan and heat it on a medium-low heat for 10 minutes whilst constantly stirring until the mixture turns golden brown.
  • Once ready, dollop heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto a lined baking tray (do tablespoons for larger cookies) and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes (they should be just lightly golden).
  • Let them cool then peel from the baking parchment and serve.

To make chocolate Brutti ma Buoni

  • Melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl above a pot of simmering water (bain-marie). Once melted, dip each cookie into the chocolate so the tops are covered and place on a baking tray lined with parchment to set.



  • Roasting the nuts - keep an eye on the hazelnuts as they are roasting so they don't burn or they will taste bitter.
  • Making meringue - start to add the sugar when the egg whites turn a frothy white colour and not before or they won't stiffen. Add the sugar gradually (in 3 goes) until the whites have turned thick, stiff and glossy.
  • Cooking the meringue - keep stirring the mixture or it'll burn. Stir it on a medium-low heat for 10 minutes until it thickens and turns golden. It should almost look like thick porridge (oatmeal).
  • Storage - will keep well in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
  • Nutritional info is calculated without chocolate.


Calories: 111kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg