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Ugly but good cookies – Brutti ma buoni


Ugly but good cookies are delicious Italian nut biscuits but well, their appearance may not be perfect, hence the name ugly but good which literally means ‘Brutti ma Buoni’. They are very simple to make and traditionally gluten-free because the nut ground makes the structure held together by the egg white.

Usually made with ground hazelnut, but some variations include a mixture of hazelnut and almond. These Italian nut biscuits are cooked twice, as the batter is first cooked on the stove and then in the oven. They should be baked until the outside is crunchy while the inside remains soft and gooey. Our selection of gluten-free cookie and biscuit recipes offers something for everyone, including shortbread, oatmeal cookies, and the more traditional chocolate chip cookies.


For about 20 biscuits, prep time 10 minutes, cooking time 25 minutes

  • 150g sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 200g hazelnut ground (or 100g hazelnut and 100g almond grounds)
  • Pinch of salt


1 – In a bowl, whisk together the egg until it has a soft peak, then add the sugar in stages and continue to whisk.

2 – Once the egg whites have reached the stiff peak consistency, add the nut ground of your choice and, using a spatula, fold the ground in. Then, transfer the mixture to a large saucepan and cook it for 7 to 10 minutes on medium-low heat.

3 – Using two spoons, spoon the cookie mixture onto a tray lined with parchment paper; keep the biscuits distance apart because they will lightly expand. Bake it for about 15-20 minutes at 160°C until the ugly but good cookies have a nice crust on the outside, keeping the inside gooey and soft.


  • The nut ground should be rather rough with larger and smaller nut crumbs for best results and texture.
  • The cooking time may vary as different ovens, and the cookies will dry a little more once out of the oven so, it is always best to check after the cookies have been baking for 10-15 minutes.

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