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Cookies with Nuts
bruti ma buoni
Mary's Brutti ma Buoni (with hazelnuts, almond powder, egg whites and cinnamon)
Originated from: Piemont, Italy
Occasion: Special times
Contributed by: Mary Melfi

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1 cup hazelnuts, without skin, lightly roasted, finely chopped
1 1/8 cups almond powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Magic baking powder
4 (extra large) egg whites, beaten till stiff

For rolling
about 1/4 cup icing sugar


o Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.

o Beat egg whites until stiff.

o Mix sugar, Magic baking powder, cinnamon and vanilla powder together.*

o Mix the mixture with the beaten egg whites.

o Incorporate the almond powder to the mixture.

o Fold in the lightly roasted finely chopped hazelnuts.

o Place the container with mixture in the fridge, and let it rest for about 1/2 hour.

o On a floured wooden board (or one lined with plastic wrap) roll out the batter to about 1/4 inch thick (One can place more plastic wrap over the batter and use the palms of one's hands to flatten it out).

o Using a serrated cookie cutter cut out squares of dough about 1 1/2 inches by 1 1/2 inches.

o Form each square into a ball and roll in icing sugar.

o Place the balls of dough on a greased cookie sheet (or one lined with parchment paper).

o Flatten the balls of dough a little.

o Bake (middle rack) until done -- about 12 minutes.

*Vanilla powder is easier to incorporate into the beaten egg white mixture, but if it is unavailable, vanilla extract can be used.


It so happened that I did not have enough hazelnuts to make the traditional "bruti ma buoni" cookies so I added almond powder and found that the result was very satisfactory -- the almond powder thickened the cookie batter but did not take away from the hazelnut flavor. Also, by using about a cup of almond powder rather than a cup of hazelnuts the cost of the cookies decreased, an added bonus. Photo and notes: Mary Melfi.

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