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Cookies with Nuts
Brutti Ma Buoni Cookies
Brutti Ma Buoni ("Ugly but Good" hazelnut meringues with egg whites and vanilla)
Originated from: Piemont, Italy
Occasion: Special times
Contributed by: Mary Melfi

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For batter [makes about 20 cookies]

2 egg whites, beaten stiff
1/2 cup "superfine" sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup, finely chopped, lightly roasted peeled hazelnuts *
1/8 teaspoon salt

* These cookies are frequently made with almonds rather than hazelnuts [For recipe see Brutti Ma Buoni, Version I]


Preheat oven to 325 F degree.

Separate the egg whites.

Add salt and vanilla extract to the egg whites.

In an electric mixer, using the "whisk" attachment, beat the egg whites (to which the salt and vanilla extract have been added) till they are stiff.

In an electric mixer, using the "whisk" attachment, slowly add the sugar to the beaten egg white mixture.

Fold in the finely chopped, lightly roasted peeled hazelnuts [Do NOT use an electric mixer, do this part the old-fashioned way -- "by hand"]

Grease a cookie sheet (preferably made of aluminum). Or alternatively, instead of greasing the cookie sheet, place a silicon baking mat on the cookie sheet to avoid sticking.

Drop about about tablespoon of batter for each cookie on the cookie sheet, placing each mound about an inch and half apart as the cookies will expand a little while cooking.

Bake in upper half of the oven for about 30 to 35 minutes (the length of time depends on one's particular oven range and the size of one's cookies).

Cool before removing from cookie sheet (Wait at least half an hour).


Photo: Mary Melfi.

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