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Nutty Squares



The late Tuscan chef Edgardo Sandoli was an authority on Italian rice, and it was a great pleasure of mine to teach cooking classes with him in Montalcino, an ancient Tuscan town with a pristine landscape famous for its production of Brunello di Montalcino wine. Edgardo's cooking was all about efficiency and quick work in the kitchen.

To this day, whenever I am in a hurry and need something fast for dessert, I make nocciolata, rich shortbread-like textured squares chock full of nuts. They are perfect with ice cream or a fresh fruit salad. They keep away the winter chill with a cup of tea or coffee. Edgardo used only hazelnuts, but I use a combination of walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans.


3/4 cup walnut halves

3/4 cup shelled whole almonds

3/4 cup shelled hazelnuts

3/4 cup pecan halves

5 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled


Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Place the nuts on a baking sheet on the middle oven shelf and toast them for 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a bowl and allow them to cool. Coarsely chop the nuts and set them aside.

In a large bowl combine the flour and sugar. Pour in the butter and combine the mixture well. Stir in the nuts. The mixture will be stiff. I find it best to do this by hand.

Spread and pat the mixture out evenly onto a 17×11 1/2-inch nonstick baking sheet.

Bake on the bottom rack for 25 minutes, or until the top and edges are nicely browned.

Cool slightly, then cut into 2-inch squares.


  1. Ann Marie Markovich's avatar

    Ann Marie Markovich

    I tried opening the recipe, and only half of the ingredients are there. No butter, etc.
  2. Paul Lally, Executive producer's avatar

    Paul Lally, Executive producer

    I just checked this recipe and the butter is there as the last ingredient. I printed the recipe and it's there too. Where do you see parts of it missing?
  3. Ginny Watson's avatar

    Ginny Watson

    Hi Paul - I was just printing the recipes and saw your photo. Wanted to wish you and Connie a wonderful Christmas. I know you will enjoy this year especially now that you have those darling grandbabies.

    Still thinking about the fabulous trip to Tuscany!

  4. claudia's avatar


    Hi Maryann, I just printed this recipe, and can't wait to make it. I have been a fan for years and have all your books. Your recipes are great. Thank you.
    Best wishes,
  5. Emily's avatar


    No salt? Is this recipe correct?
  6. Paul Lally, Executive producer's avatar

    Paul Lally, Executive producer

    Yes, no salt is called for in this recipe.
    But if you think it would improve the flavor, by all means add it.
    Recipes are made to be personalized to your own tastes.
    Let us know how they turned out.


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