Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Version of Brutti e Buoni For Passover

A few weeks ago, you might recall me talking about a wonderful Italian cookie called Brutti e Buoni, which I learned to make at the Tasty Tuscany cooking school.  Sporting a clever name, which means "ugly but good," these cookies delivered both on aesthetics and taste.

Remembering how easy they were to make, as the original version consists of only 3 ingredients (none of which is flour), I decided to make them for tomorrow's Passover Seder at my brother and sister-in-laws'.  If those of you who regularly follow my cooking adventures, you'll know that I like to alter recipes, and for this one, I also added cranberries and a drizzle of good quality dark chocolate.  Just a little something to beautify the brutti.

Foodista's Take on Brutti e Buoni - Adapted from recipe used at Tasty Tuscany

Ingredients (makes 24 cookies)
3 - 4 large egg whites - depends on the size.  I used 3 and change
1 heaping cup of granulated sugar
8 oz of roughly chopped hazelnuts
Big handful of dried cranberries (craisins)
Good quality dark chocolate, melted (I used Ghirardelli)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Toast hazelnuts for a minute or two in a nonstick skillet.  You'll know when they're ready when you can smell them, but watch them closely to make sure they don't burn.

In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  Throughout the process, add the sugar and keep whipping until you can turn the bowl upside down without the egg whites moving.  Gently stir in the hazelnuts and craisins.  Mix well but make sure you're careful when mixing, so you don't completely deflate the egg whites.

Take a spoonful of the mixture and spoon into a greased cookie sheet.  It's OK if the shape isn't perfect - these cookies are meant to look rustic.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Let cookies cool for about 15 minutes and then carefully remove from the cookie sheet.  Place on a wire rack and let cool for a few minutes longer.  Then take the melted chocolate and drizzle on top with a fork in an irregular fashion. 

Buon appetito and Happy Passover to those who celebrate. 


  1. I love these cookies... they're also known as "Croccantini." I often buy them at Rose and Joe's, who sell them plain, chocolate dipped and chocolate flavored. I believe La Guli does as well.

    They're great when you're craving a little something. I'm definitely going to try this recipe out!

  2. Thanks Nicole - what a great tip. I'll have to check out Rose & Joe's and La Guli's version of these treats soon. I'll report back on how I think they stack up. :)



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