HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE MERINGUE COOKIES (BRUTTI MA BUONI) (GF)

 

March 24, 2016

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The Cookie Monster whispered: "Brutti ma Buoni or Hazelnut Chocolate Meringue cookies make my puppet mouth water." He begged for a second, and a third. He's craving a chewy cookie with crunchy, toasty hazelnuts, delicious chocolate and espresso. The real question is whether to cook the Brutti ma Buoni batter prior to baking. Tradition calls for it, but today, many people (especially in North America) skip this step and bake immediately after folding the batter. I've had them both ways. Cooking the meringue prior to baking creates a very crispy shell and chewy centre, whereas baking directly without cooking yields a chewy cookie - top to bottom. Of the hundreds of variations of Brutti ma Buoni or Hazelnut Chocolate Meringue cookies, never omit the toasty hazelnuts. There's nothing ugly about a cookie as delicious as this.

Just a note, this recipe doesn't require careful weighing. Rough cup measurements work fine.

And one other thing, I adapted this recipe slightly from Deb Perelman's recipe of The Smitten Kitchen. I really liked her approach to this Italian cookie. Thanks Deb.

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Ingredients

Makes 36-40 cookies

Grams

Ounces

Volume

  • 207 grams hazelnuts
  • 148.5 grams granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 112 grams egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 226 grams miniature chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate, chopped small
  • 7.2 ounces hazelnuts
  • 5.25 ounces granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 4 ounces egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 8 ounces miniature chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate, chopped small
  • 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 4 large or ½ cup egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 1 1/3 cups miniature chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate, chopped small

Instructions

COOKIE DOUGH MIS-EN-PLACE

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet (I prefer a perforated sheet if you have one) and toast the nuts until they are brown through to the center 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely.
  • Using a clean towel, roll the hazelnuts around so that the skins fall off. It's alright if it isn't a perfect job.
  • Chop the toasted hazelnuts

Chopping toasted hazelnuts.
Chopping toasted hazelnuts.

  • Reduce heat to 300 degrees F.
  • Chop the chocolate into small chunks (if not using tiny chips).

Chop the dark chocolate.
Chop the dark chocolate.

  • Combine chopped hazelnuts, chocolate, salt and 1/4 cup of sugar in a large bowl and set aside.

Chopped hazelnuts, dark chocolate with the salt and sugar.
Chopped hazelnuts, dark chocolate with the salt and sugar.

  • Measure the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and let come to room temperature. Consult The Finer Cookie's How-To post on how to whip egg whites.

Measured egg whites.
Measured egg whites.

  • Measure 1/4 cup of sugar and set aside.
  • Set out the espresso powder.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

MAKE THE HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE MERINGUE COOKIE BATTER (BRUTTI MA BUONI)

  • Starting with the room temperature egg whites, whip them until very foamy on medium speed.
  • Raise the speed slightly and slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar.
  • Raise the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form. It's important to keep the meringue flexible. When meringue is too stiff it will crack and look dry.

Whipped meringue.
Whipped meringue.

  • Using a large spatula or a flat whisk, fold in nuts, chocolate, sugar and espresso powder (if using) into the meringue.
  • Be quick about this, keeping the meringue intact and not deflated.

Chopped nuts and dark chocolate folded into the meringue.
Chopped nuts and dark chocolate folded into the meringue.

  • Using a #40 scoop or two tablespoons, scoop batter into about 1 1/2 tablespoon mounds with about an inch of space between them.

Hazelnut chocolate meringue cookie batter (Brutti ma Buoni) ready to be baked.
Hazelnut chocolate meringue cookie batter (Brutti ma Buoni) ready to be baked.

  • Bake for 25 minutes at 300F degrees, until very faintly golden. They will be firm to the touch, but will be soft deep in the centre.

Hazelnut chocolate meringue cookie batter (Brutti ma Buoni) baked.
Hazelnut chocolate meringue cookie batter (Brutti ma Buoni) baked.

  • Let cool on baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, after which they'll be easier to remove with a thin spatula.
  • Let finish cooling on racks.

Hazelnut chocolate meringue cookie batter (Brutti ma Buoni) cooling on the rack.
Hazelnut chocolate meringue cookie batter (Brutti ma Buoni) cooling on the rack.

  • Cookies keep at room temperature in an airtight container, but they won't last long enough to go stale.

Hazelnut chocolate meringue cookies (Brutti ma Buoni), The Finer Cookie.
Hazelnut chocolate meringue cookies (Brutti ma Buoni), The Finer Cookie.

TAGS:  gluten free   hazelnuts   meringue   chocolate   italian   coffee       LABELS: Chocolate  Gluten Free  Quick and Easy  Nut and Seed 

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HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE MERINGUE COOKIES (BRUTTI MA BUONI) (GF)

Makes 36-40 cookies

Ingredients
Instructions

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