Because we now have the “major” holidays behind us, the retail shops are quick to tell us that Valentines Day is next. Truth be told, I was seeing merchandise for Valentines Day well before Christmas!
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? These diminutive sandwich cookies are 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 chocolate in the middle, hence their name. Call them what you will, they are certainly to become a favorite in your household.
For the chocolate, I prefer using baking 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 thing 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, (ideally toasted and skinned)
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces (chilled)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
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