Brutti ma Buoni: Preheat
your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and line
two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place the hazelnuts on a baking
sheet and bake for about 13 to 15 minutes or until
lightly brown and fragrant. Let them cool completely and then coarsely chop.
In a heatproof bowl, placed
over a saucepan of simmering water, heat the sugar and egg whites, whisking
constantly, until the sugar has melted and the mixture is warm to the touch (about 5 minutes).
Remove from heat, transfer to the bowl of your electric
stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment
(or with a hand mixer), and beat until
thick and glossy (about 3-5
minutes). Beat in the
vanilla extract and then fold in the flour and chopped hazelnuts.
Place heaping tablespoonfuls
(I use an ice cream scoop) on your prepared baking sheet, spacing about two inches
(5 cm) apart. Bake the cookies for
about 19 to 23 minutes or until light brown
(the outside of the cookies will be crisp and the cookies will just be starting
to separate from the parchment paper). Remove from oven and place on a wire
rack to cool completely. If desired, dust with powdered sugar before serving.
These cookies are best the
day they are made, but they can be stored at room temperature for three to four days.
Makes about 35 cookies.