About Me

Vivica Menegaz

Nutritionist, Author, & Blogger

Hi I am Vivica, welcome to my blog! I am a certified nutritionist and the creator of the Healing Foods Method. My philosophy of healing is to let the right foods delight you, nourish you and make you healthy!

Brutti e Buoni: Ugly and Delicious Hazelnut Cookies with Coconut Sugar

hazelnut cookies with coconut sugar top

Brutti e buoni: hazelnut cookies ugly but delicious !

This is another recipe from my childhood. In Italy there are several versions of this cookie. Some are more rustic, some more refined, but all are very nutty and have a bit of a crunch.

I am completely in love with the flavor of hazelnut, especially toasted. It just flashes me back to age 4, when we had a restaurant and bar, and in the bar was a small gumball machine that sold roasted hazelnuts instead of candy (that was my candy!)….

You could buy pre-roasted hazelnuts for this recipe, but the best nutritional value will come from raw hazelnuts, soaked for a few hours and then dried in a low oven or dehydrator overnight. After drying them, lightly roast them in a dry skillet for about 5 minutes. Let cool before grinding.

For this recipe I broke my rules and used some sugar. The sugar I choose to use is a sustainably harvested coconut sugar.

Is coconut sugar good or bad for me?

Coconut Sugar is a type of sugar extracted from the sap of the coconut plant

. As it is an unrefined sugar it still contains minerals like Iron, Potassium and Zinc, antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids and has a glycemic index of around 35, which makes it a relatively low GI food.

GI of sugars

A study form the state of Trinidad shows the nutritional content and glycemic index of coconut sugar and syrup.

With all this said, coconut sugar is still a sugar, and should be used in extreme moderation. I usually advocate the use of NO sugar at all, but I also realize that  in our modern world is very difficult to completely eliminate it from the diet. Coconut sugar and raw local honey are the best alternative when a little sweet is required. I also use Stevia occasionally, although the flavor is not always compatible with a recipe.

Which coconut sugar should I buy?


coconut sugar

I recommend Wholesome Sweeteners brand of coconut sugar for a couple of reasons: Number one: sustainability! Number two: Never GMO! Number three: BPA-free packaging!

hazelnut cookies with coconut sugar01


Brutti e Buoni: hazelnut cookies with coconut sugar!
These cookies in Italy are called "brutti e buoni": Ugly and delicious. They are easy to make and can be kept out of the refrigerator for about a week.
  1. To make hazelnut flour just put about 4 cups of hazelnuts into a food processor and grind until a semi-fine texture is achieved. The texture of the cookies can vary from fine to coarse and chunky, it depends on personal preference.
  2. Let the butter soften at room temperature.
  3. Add all the ingredients to the food processor bowl and mix together until it starts forming a dough-like ball.
  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Scoop little balls of dough onto a table-spoon and place on the cookie sheet.
  7. the shape should not be too smooth, so they can turn out "ugly"!
  8. Bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Let cool before removing from parchment paper.

hazelnut cookies with coconut sugar03


This recipe was featured on Healing with Food Friday

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Comments 12

  1. Debbie says:

    These look so good!! I’m a hazelnut freak. Is it because I’m Italian, too? 🙂

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      Ha ha Debbie! maybe that is the reason….Hazelnut ice cream is my FAVORITE!!

  2. It’s been a while since I’ve had these little Italian cookies but I do remember loving them, I must try your version!

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      Thank you Sylvie, this recipe came form the hidden recesses of my memory…
      You know when you miss a taste from your childhood, and you HAVE to recreate it!
      Plus I am a total freak for hazelnuts.

  3. Thanks for posting at Healing With Food Friday. Your post was one of the top 3 most viewed and is a featured post for next week’s blog hop. Please come back and share again in the one that opens Friday.

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      Thank You Jennifer I will be very happy to share more with your wonderful community!

  4. Sherry says:

    These look good!! I can’t wait to try them…can I dip them in chocolate???! haha

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      You know what Sherri…I am going to make a Paleo Gianduia (hazelnut chocolate) filling for them and share the recipe!! IT IS POSSIBLE! 😉

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