Brutti ma Buoni

“Brutti ma Buoni” when translated to English means “Ugly but Good”. There is no better way to describe these cookies, although I really don’t think they’re that ugly.

This cookies can be made with either a Swiss Meringue or an Italian Meringue. I’ve included instructions for both. The combination of delicate meringue and nuts and chocolate give these cookies a crispy cloud like texture.

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INGREDIENTS:

Swiss Meringue Method:

60 grams of egg whites (approximately 2)

100 grams of granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar

pinch of salt

or

Italian Meringue Method:

60 grams of egg whites (approximately 2)

100 grams of granulated sugar

1/4 cup of water

1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar

pinch of salt

1 cup of toasted coarsely chopped hazelnuts

1 cup of toasted coarsely chopped almonds

2 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chopped into pieces approximately 1/4”

1 tablespoon of sifted confectioner’s sugar

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

METHOD:

Swiss Meringue Method:

Whisk egg whites, sugar, salt and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer over simmering water until the egg-white mixture reaches a temperature of 160°F (71°C) and sugar is dissolved.

Place the bowl on the mixer and whip with the wire whisk attachment on high speed until the mixture has stiff peaks. This will take about 6-8 minutes.

OR

Italian Meringue Method:

The first step in making an Italian meringue is to make the sugar syrup. In a small pot heat the sugar and water to 240 degrees Fahrenheit (softball stage). The softball stage is when you drop some of the sugar syrup into cold water it will form a soft flexible ball.

While the syrup is heating, whip the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until they are foamy and almost at the soft peak stage.

Slowly pour in the syrup into the egg whites and whip until the bowl is cool to the touch. Your meringue should have stiff glossy peaks.

Fold in the nuts, chocolate, confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract into the meringue.

Drop the batter on a parchment lined baking sheet with a scoop approximately 1 tablespoon in size and lightly press on each to slightly flatten.

Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack ans store in an air tight container.

Makes approximately 20 cookies.

Zucchini Lemon Walnut Drop Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

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75 grams of granulated sugar 6 tablespoons)

40 grams of light brown sugar (3 tablespoons, packed)

1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon zest

114 grams of room temperature unsalted butter (4 ounces or 1 stick)

1 whole large egg

1 1/4 cup of finely grated zucchini (squeeze out as much liquid as you can over a strainer)

2/3 cup of chopped toasted walnuts

180 grams of all purpose flour (1 1/2 cup)

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 degrees Celsius.

Place the sugars and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium for about 1 minute.

Add the butter and mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and beat for 1-2 minutes until mixture is smooth.

Next add the drained zucchini and walnuts and mix until combined.

On low speed add the the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined.

Using a number 20 scoop, or one that is about 1/4 cup, portion out the mixture onto pans lined with parchment paper leaving about 2 inches between each cookie.

Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until they are lightly browned.

Glaze:

1 cup of confectioner’s sugar

2-3 teaspoons of lemon juice

Whisk together the sugar and enough lemon juice to bring the glaze to a consistency that can be drizzled.

Drizzle the glaze over the muffin tops.

Makes approximately 1 dozen