Because we now have the “major” holidays behind us, the retail shops are quick to tell us that Valentines Day is right around the corner. And what could be more romantic to bake for the most romantic day of the year than Baci di Dama, which translates to “Lady Kisses” in English? Baci di Dama cookies are diminutive sandwich cookies and a staple in the hazelnut-growing region of Piedmont. They are crunchy and melt-in-your mouth, all at once. Packed with a major hazelnut flavor, these tiny temptations are addictive. They are said to resemble two lips kissing, brought together by a hint of melted chocolate in the middle. Call them what you will, Baci di Dama cookies are certainly to become a favorite in your household.
For the chocolate, I prefer using baking chocolate chips instead of melting bar chocolate. Chocolate chips have emulsifiers, which when cooled, tend to solidify better than using a bar of chocolate.
When looking at the ingredient doses, you might think you will not never get 80 cookies out of this (40 sandwiched cookies), keep in mind, these are supposed to be pretty small. So you have an excuse to go on seconds and thirds.
Baci di Dama
Yields approximately 35 – 40 sandwich cookies
1 cup hazelnuts (toasted and skinned)
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces (chilled)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Add the hazelnuts, flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a food processor and pulse until finely ground, about 30 seconds.
- Add butter and vanilla and process until dough comes together, about 30 additional seconds.
- Transfer the dough on the counter and divide it into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 10-inch-log. Using a sharp knife, cut log into 20 equal pieces, then roll each piece into balls. Space them 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake until edges are lightly browned, 16 to 18 minutes, switching and rotating the sheets halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before continuing with the chocolate step. (They are delicate and will crumble if handled while they are hot.)
- Microwave chocolate chips in small bowl, stirring occasionally, until melted. Spread a bit of chocolate over the bottom of half of cookies, then top with remaining cookies, pressing lightly to adhere. Plate and allow chocolate to harden for about 10 – 15 minutes before serving.
What to Pack for Italy
Cosa Mettere in Valigia per l'Italia
Everyone is always asking me what they should pack for Italy,
so I’ve created a quick reference guide that you can use for your next trip.
Hint: You don’t need nearly as much as you think you do!