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Jun 5, 2013 08:19 PM

"Ugly but Good" Italian cookies?

Watched the American Baking Challenge tonight as they were making cookies. I didn't catch the Italian name of the cookie one of the guys was making, but he said it meant "ugly but good." He didn't win that round, but Jeff Foxworthy loved them. I'd be interested in a recipe if anyone knows what these are.

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    1. re: Ariadanz

      Thanks for the recipe--and mbfant for the Italian name. Do you think I could sub almond extract for the amaretto?

      I have NEVER made anything with whipped egg whites in my life, so I'm a little nervous about it. (When I was a kid and my mom asked me to whip egg whites with the egg beater, I never had the strength to do it. So I've always avoided recipes that asked for whipped egg whites since then. Even though I do have an electric mixer now. Yes, probably an unreasonable fear...)

      1. re: Thanks4Food

        Use your mixer :) just make sure there are no traces of yolk or you may have a flashback

    2. In Italian they are called "brutti ma buoni."

      1. It's a biscotti based on hazelnuts - they are very delicious, but ugly :)

        1. Anyone have any opinion on the method used in this recipe: wherein she heats the sugar and egg whites in a double boiler until opaque and then beating with a mixer?

          This is otherwise a simpler recipe without the orange zest and cocoa powder, etc. But those flavors sound terrific to me. Wish I knew what the guy used on the Baking Challenge.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Thanks4Food

            It's interesting that your recipe, and the Batali recipe linked above, bvth include flour as an ingredient. I saved these recipes a while back, and neither one calls for flour.

            1. re: EM23

              Here's one I just found without flour:

              What's got me confused is the variation in the number of egg whites in the different recipes.

          2. You can go to
            where even if you don't know Italian, it is a step by step demo - and most important you can see by the likes that this was prepared correctly AND forward to the end and see how beautiful (sorry ugly) they turned out!

            5 Replies
            1. re: acssss

              Very cool--thank you!

              I had a little trouble understanding what the guy was doing since the camera work wasn't the finest. So I watched these two videos: and

              Both these women put the mixture on the stove after they've mixed the nuts with the egg whites, etc. Wondering why that step is necessary?

              1. re: Thanks4Food

                The step isn't necessary, but if you skip it, the cookies will have a more meringue texture and if you put the mixture on the stove, it will have a more chewy texture (my personal preference) and the latter is the more traditional way of making it (usually for even more time than she did it). Nowadays, there are many ways to make this cookie, some even change the hazelnuts for other nuts, add chocolate (like in the video you linked to) and don't heat it on the stove.
                I guess it depends on your personal preference - try to make double the amounts and then make it both ways and see which you prefer.

                1. re: acssss

                  I was thinking about that--trying it both ways.

                  What I'm trying to think of now is what to do with the leftover egg yolks...

                  1. re: Thanks4Food

                    Hollandaise sauce for an eggs benedict breakfast or over asparagus at dinner! Yum!

                    1. re: weezieduzzit

                      That sounds even better than the cookies. :-)