My very best friend in the world is Italian. I’m not saying I chose an Italian best friend on purpose, but I think if you’re going to have a best friend then someone of Italian descent is always a good bet. Why? Well because of the food silly. Italian best friends have parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles who are always trying to feed you. The Irish? They don’t do this. Just sayin’.
Italian best friends also get married. For foodies, this is like participating in the Iron Man of eating. You must train hard for these events because you need your stamina to make it through a full seven course meal and then the dessert table. After the dessert table is of course the midnight buffet and then if you’re in the inner circle, you get a brunch the next day. Yup, having an Italian best friend has been pretty good to me, even more so because my best friend’s family owns an Italian bakery called Capo Foods in London, Ontario. Every birthday cake, every lasagna, every cookie tray we ever served at a party at my non-Italian house growing up came from Capo. And then I moved to Ottawa. *cue the tears*
I miss the food. I’ve found nothing in Ottawa that comes close to Capo and so whenever my best friend visits, I put in a request. I ask for the world’s best seafood lasagna, and cookies from the bakery. Inevitably, nestled in the box of Italian goodness are these little babies, Brutti ma Buoni which translates to “Ugly But Good”. These cookies are little heavenly bits of meringue with toasted almonds and I will take anyone down who tries to take my Brutti ma Buoni.
If you live in London then skip the making of these and just go get what you need at Capo…just don’t tell my crushed soul. For those too far to make the journey, here’s the Brutti Ma Buoni recipe straight from Capo.
Brutti ma Buoni (Ugly But Good Cookies)
- 454 grams sliced almonds lightly toasted
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 7 egg whites
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
Parchment paper, place on baking sheet
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a medium size bowl and using an electric mixer whisk egg whites until they form glossy medium hard peaks, approximately 3-5 minutes. Begin slowly adding sugar to the mixture and then add vanilla extract. When the eggs form medium hard peaks use a spatula to gently fold in almonds.
Using a tablespoon gently place heaps of cookies mixture onto the parchment paper, leaving a 1 inch space around the individual cookies on all sides. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and turn the oven to 250 degrees F. When the oven comes to temperature, place the cookies back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.