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Bruttiboni {Italian Hazelnut Cookies}

Also called Brutti Ma Buoni are traditional Italian cookies made with cooked meringue and chopped hazelnuts.

Their origin is pretty vague. Some thing they were first seen in a family-owned pastry shop in Gavirate, Lombardia. Others believe they come from Piemonte region or even Emilia Romagna.

Whatever the truth is all agree that they are delicious! Somewhat of irregular shape and no the prettiest look though.

In fact, brutti ma buoni translates exactly as “ugly but delicious”.

Rich flavor of toasted hazelnuts combined with crunchy meringue on the outside and soft core on the inside is what makes them truly irresistible.

Bruttiboni {Italian Hazelnut Cookies}

Bruttiboni Variations

As an alternative to going all hazelnuts, you can use half doze almonds, half doze hazelnuts.

You can even do these cooking using almonds only. This is a traditional version of bruttiboni  from Tuscany where they are also know by the name Mandorlati di San Clemente.

Bruttiboni is a great way to use leftover egg whites that you might have left from Classic Pastry Cream, Crostata (Pie Crust) or even your favorite Carbonara!

In other words, there’s always a good chance for the cookies 😉

Especially that you can make them in 2 simple steps.

Bruttiboni Step-By-Step

Step 1:Make the meringue

Bruttiboni - Step1

Step 2: Cook the meringue and bake cookies

Bruttiboni - Step2

Full Recipe

Bruttiboni {Italian Hazelnut Cookies}

Bruttiboni {Italian Hazelnut Cookies}

Also called Brutti Ma Buoni are traditional Italian cookies made with cooked meringue and choooped hazelnuts.
Print Pin Rate / Comment
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 16 cookies


  • 1 ¼ cup hazelnuts , toasted and chopped, approx. 140 g
  • cup sugar , approx. 140 g
  • 2 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt


Start by preparing the nuts.

  • If you’re using raw whole nuts, roast them lightly in the preheated oven or in a dry pan on a stove top. Let cool and roughly chop in a food processor.

Prepare the meringue

  • In a mixer bowl add egg whites and a pinch of salt. Beat slowly increasing the speed until egg whites double in size and become very foamy.
  • Slowly add in sugar and continue to beat until soft peaks form (see pictures).
  • Fold in chopped hazelnuts until combined with the meringue.
  • Transfer nut meringue in a stove-top pot and put it on slow heat.
  • Continuously stirring cook meringue for about 10 minutes until it starts to change color. It should be deep beige color and thicker than when you started cooking it.

Preheat oven to 275F/ 135C

  • Line baking sheet with a parchment paper.
  • Using a tablespoon and a teaspoon form cookies. They’ll have an irregular shape and that’s perfectly fine. Just make sure there are few small pieces sticking out from the cookie as those might burn.
  • Bake bruttiboni in a preheated to 275F/ 135C oven for 20-35 minutes.


If you like the inside to be softer bake cookies less, if you like them to be crunchy all the way through bake for longer. Remember they’ll get harder as they cool, so try to not overbake.
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Bruttiboni {Italian Hazelnut Cookies}

How do YOU like bruttiboni? With hazelnuts, mix or just almonds? 🙂

Bruttiboni {Italian Hazelnut Cookies} Step-by-Step
Recipe Rating


Sunday 9th of February 2020

Mine went flat. What have I done wrong?


Tuesday 31st of December 2019

Trying these today!

I'm find that the texture in the final stage is rather loose - I can form the cookie shapes, but pieces are breaking away. Everything seemed OK up to this point. Any suggestions?

Happy New Year!

Italian Recipe Book

Saturday 8th of February 2020

Hi there! I'm sorry for my late reply, just seeing this now. Yes, as long as you can form the cookies you should be fine. If you still feel that the mix is too soft, try cooking the meringue and hazelnut mix on the stove top for an extra minute or two. Hope you enjoyed this cookies :)

Maria from She Loves Biscotti

Thursday 6th of June 2019

These are one of my favourite cookies! I make them exactly the same way... with a double boiler. They look delicious!

Italian Recipe Book

Thursday 19th of September 2019

Thanks Maria! You sure know a thing or 2 about cookies, LOL :D Thanks for stopping by!