During the COVID 2020 lockdown in Melbourne, Australia I joined a challenge group to keep occupied during the first lockdown. This was organised by South Kingsville Community Centre who i had been working for as a trainer. It was each persons choice to pick a thing to do new each day for 30 days. Someone challenged me to make a different type of biscuit every day. I took on this challenge and completed thirty different biscuits in 30 days. Near the and of the challenge i was a little short one ideas and asked the group if they had any suggestions for some biscuits to be made. One of the members of the group suggested brutti ma buoni biscuits (ugly but good). But with this said I only had the list of the ingredients and unlike the original and traditional recipe. I made mine with pistachio which made them ugly, good and green (brutti ma buoni et verde). I made them a few times however i was never super confident that they were correct, eventhough they tasted good. Recently, I found a blog with a recipe for bruttiboni which is like my recipe but adds cinnamon and has almond meal and hazelnuts instead of pistachio. the hazelnuts should be unskinned (which if you can’t get blanched hazelnuts from your supermarket is a pain to complete) …. but not impossible.
Blanching Nuts
Most people would know that to blanch almonds you just add the almonds into boiling hot water for several minutes. and then you can squeeze the brown skin off thealmond kernel, easy. But this does not work for the hazelnut. Removing the skins from hazelnuts can be done in a few different ways. Here are two popular methods you can try:
    1. Roasting Method:
        • Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
        • Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet.
        • Roast the hazelnuts in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until the skins darken and start to crack.
        • Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
        • Once the hazelnuts are cool enough to handle, transfer them to a clean kitchen towel.
        • Fold the towel over the hazelnuts and rub them vigorously to remove the loose skin.
        • Open the towel and pick out the hazelnuts, discarding the loosened skin.
I had tried this method frist and while some of the skins did come off the nuts it was not a huge success and then i found the following method which worked perfectly but make sure you boil the nuts for a good amount of time.
    1. Boiling Method:
        • Boil 1 cup of untoasted hazelnuts in 2 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of baking soda for 3 minutes.
        • Add the hazelnuts to the boiling water and let them cook for about 3-5 minutes.
        • Drain the hazelnuts and transfer them to a clean kitchen towel.
        • Fold the towel over the hazelnuts and rub them vigorously to remove the loosened skin.
        • Open the towel and pick out the hazelnuts, discarding the loosened skin.
Make sure you leave the hazelnuts in the boiling water for the alloted 5 minutes this will ensure all of the skins come off much more easily. A few weeks ago in one of my cooking classes the class made the Brutti ma buoni biscuits and yes they are ugly but very delicious (beautiful). I would definetly recommend that you give them a go. Making them with children would be a great fun way to involve them in the kitchen, They are easy to make. Add the dry ingredients to a bowl. Beat you egg whites and add the suger cinnamon and vanilla paste. then spoon them on to a tray and cook……so easy! And once cooked these little ugly but beautiful biscuits will be a hit with most people.

Miss Sallie’s Cuisine Recipe for Brutti ma buoni

Ingredients 200g hazlenuts
150g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
Cinnamon to taste and optional
Put these ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
3 eggs
Pinch salt
50g castor sugar
In a mixing bowl beat the eggs and salt until soft peaks form thenadd all the sugar continue to beat until stiff peaks.
Add the dry ingredients and fold in and combine well. Spoon out onto a tray and bake in a 170c oven for approx 25-30mins.
Bon Appetite
Miss Sallie

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