Brutti e Buoni

The bad and the good, the good and the bad… to me these half-almond & half-dark chocolate cookies with thin layers of dark chocolate in-between are nothing but good. With just the right balance of crispness to their bite, they are the perfect accompaniment to an after-dinner espresso or, if you’re entertaining, they will certainly enhance your cookie platter.

Good in a bad way, since they’re not the healthiest of my baking repertoire. I became madly addicted to a bite-sized version of these during my stay in Santa Monica. The local Whole Foods on Montana Ave always had a well-stocked supply of Brutti e Buoni, and I rationalized that because they were the size of 3 Hershey kisses, a couple a day wouldn’t kill me. I did notice, however, that the Whole Foods version did not incorporate almond in the buoni side, a flavor I missed dearly after making a batch pre-Santa Monica with almond extract. Adapted from my Baking Bible Volume I, ‘One Sweet Cookie’ by fellow cookie lover Tracey Zabar (who calls them dreamy ‘Romeo’s Sighs and Juliet’s Kisses),’ these two-sided treats are a slightly less perfect version with slightly less butter, but plenty of goodness all the same.

Ingredients: For the Buoni side: 3/4 stick unsalted butter softened, 1/2 cup organic sugar, 1/2 tsp pure almond extract, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup all purpose flour. 

For the Brutti side: 3/4 stick unsalted butter softened, 1/2 cup organic sugar, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp salt, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup coacoa powder

Recipe: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the 3/4 stick butter and 1/2 cup sugar for the Buoni side. Add the almond extract. Add the 1/2 tsp salt and 1 cup flour until just combined. Scoop out rounded teaspoonfuls onto one of the sheet pans. 

Now prepare the Brutti side. In the bowl of the standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and beat for 10 seconds. Add the salt, flour, and coacoa and beat until all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Scoop teaspoonfuls onto the second pan. The Brutti side will spread more than the Buoni side, so make the teaspoonfuls flatter. Bake both pans 8-10 minutes or until the Buoni’s edges turn golden. 

Let them cool completely before spreading melted bittersweet chocolate onto the Buoni side and capping them with the Brutti side. The chocolate side (brutti) will be more delicate, so I suggest spreading the chocolate carefully onto the almond side. 

Adapted from Tracey Zabar’s ‘One Sweet Cookie’


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