It was December it  was  Christmas it was not so long time ago.

But it was a shining sunny day, it was warm and we were in Rome. That’s why, maybe, this distance feeling.
My mom she was doing some special Christmas cookies and I was there as usual, in the kitchen chatting and shooting some photos.
I think she spend the last two weeks baking and preparing cannelloni.

(Wow! Classical conditioning! I don’t need any bell you can just say “C-a-n-n-e-l-l-o-n-i” and I start to salivate.)
Well but this post it’s not about them. It’s about cookies called Brutti ma Buoni.
It means “ugly but good”. Why ugly? Because they are not nice as a “petit biscuit” for the the.
But they are reaaaly good.

So let’s come back into my mother’s kitchen.
Sunny day, 20 degree, the kitchen’s door on the balcony  is open.


The oven is warm because she was also baking bread that early morning.
My mum is crumbling the hazelnuts under a backing foil with a meat pounder (maybe there is better way to do, but that´s how she did it), with a little bit of the sugar.



Than she put all the hazelnuts with the sugar, the eggs into a pan over the gas hob.
Oohh gas hob, I miss you (we don’t have it anymore in our new kitchen).
Here is the hardest part, if you want to eat this cookies you must worked out. She was stirring into the pan, for at least ten minutes, never stopping. The mix is quite sticky and you have to be fast.


Then she put the pan outside to let the mix cool off. The perfect moment, all the light and all the time I want to take some pictures. And the smell…wow…sweet caramel with a taste of roasted nuts….


Ok, a spoon in my hand….
(and then loudly because she was in an other room) “Mum? Can I have a spoon of it?”
(no answer).

No answer, it’s a yes, right?          Ummmmmmh…. delicious.
After 10 minutes, she prepared a baking pan with a baking foil and she started to shape small balls of the mix with a spoon.

We were staring the oven and they became puffy and crunchy and after 30 min they were ready).

Oh my godness they are super sweet and super good  but not so ugly.
Maybe, the next time I will do them, I will add some cocoa powder or soluble coffee.


400g hazelnuts

350g sugar

150g egg white (about 4 eggs)

2 spoons cocoa powder