I was baking with my friends today...the requisite Ogre Toe cookies for Halloween, but I wanted to squeeze these into the day's baking frenzy too.
I've wanted to make these gnarly dudes since I copied the recipe from a copy of Food and Wine on a recent visit to my grandmothers, but felt I needed a place to leave most of them given my propensity towards eating entire batches of sweets all by my wee self. Today seemed the perfect occasion to make them (although I still brought more home than I should have).
The name Brutti Ma Buoni is Italian for "ugly but good". Now who couldn't fall in love with something of that name? Like the homeliest sweet mutt at the pound, I can't see how you wouldn't fall hard and fast for these cookies. Who needs a frou-frou, fawned over iced sugar cookie? Give me brutti ma buoni any day over cute. I'd also venture to say the name should be upgraded to Ugly But Great!
Brutti Ma Buoni (ugly but good):
(Food and Wine Magazine)
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts (8oz)
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
pinch of salt
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 375.
Roast hazelnuts for ~12 minutes til fragrant and skins blister. Watch carefully as they'll burn...in fact, the original recipe called for roasting at 400 which I had bad luck with.
Transfer to a kitchen towel, cool, and rub the skins off as best you can.
Process nuts, sugar and salt til finely chopped.
Scrape into a medium bowl and stir in egg and vanilla.
Bump the oven temp to 400.
Line baking sheet with parchment.
Spoon Tbs.-sized mounds of hazelnut dough onto the prepped sheet one inch apart.
Bake cookies in center of oven for 14 minutes, until browned in spots (about 13 minutes for chewy cookies and 15 for slightly crisp).
Let cookies cool on the sheet before serving.
Can be stored in an air-tight container for 4 days...yeah, like they'd last that long. ;-)