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Italian Hazelnut Cookies

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These Italian Hazelnut Cookies are made with Piedmontese staples, hazelnuts and eggs, and called Brutti Ma Buoni: literally, “Ugly But Good.” But they are really more plain-looking than “ugly,” and pack a powerful, sweet, nutty burst of flavor, making them welcome at any table.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups hazelnuts, toasted and skinned (see tip)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Details

Servings 32
Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 120mins

Preparation

Step 1

Position 2 racks as close to the center of the oven as possible; preheat to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

Pulse nuts and sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Scrape into a large bowl.

Beat egg whites and salt in another large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the nut mixture. Add vanilla and gently but thoroughly mix until combined.

Drop the batter by the tablespoonful 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake the cookies until golden brown, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Gently transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

When the baking sheets are thoroughly cooled, repeat with the remaining batter.

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