Baci di dama for a coffee break

Teeny-tiny hazelnut biscuits with chocolate filling that really are as sophisticated and delicate as those kisses they are named after.

In all honesty, I first made these biscuits because I just found them so darn cute. All tiny and round and with a delightful name like this! Baci di dama literally means “Lady’s Kisses” and although some (including me) might argue that they look more like pouting than kissing lips, their taste and texture do the name entirely justice.

Putting chocolate and hazelnuts together usually makes something wonderful anyway but these lovely inventions will change your vision of tea-time biscuits forever! It’s the texture that distinguishes them from anything else! Smooth and melt-in-your-mouth biscuit with the hazelnuts’ crunchiness and creamy chocolate filling create something quite delectable that will wow all your guests. These alone are a really good reason to start inviting people over for tea-time visits.

Baci di Dama recipe
Ingredients
  • 140g (1 1/3 cup) ground hazelnuts
  • 140 g (1 cup) flour
  • 100g (1/3 cup and 2 tbsps) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 70 g (1/3 cup) sugar
  • A pinch of salt

Filling:

  • 60g (1/2 cup) chopped bittersweet chocolate
Instructions

Pour ground hazelnuts on a large pan and cook them on medium high heat for about one or two minutes being very careful that the bottom part doesn’t burn. Stir frequently. Heat until a bit toasted and fragrant. Transfer in a bowl and let cool. Add the flour, butter, and sugar. Mix all the ingredients together until the butter is evenly dispersed, and the dough is smooth.

Flatten the dough into a disk (about 1 cm / third of an inch high). Wrap in food-quality film and chill the dough for 1 hour.

Cut the dough into equal-sized pieces and roll them into tiny balls between the palms of your hands (about 1 cm or 1/3 inch in diameter). Work with one part of dough at a time, leaving the rest in the refrigerator, so it stays cold.

Place the dough balls on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 160C / 320F. Move the baking sheet directly from the refrigerator to the oven and bake the baci di dama for 15 minutes, until they are a bit set to the touch but not yet colored.

Let the cookies cool completely before filling.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set on a small pot of simmering water. Let it cool down a bit until it thickens slightly.
Put a drop of chocolate on one cookie and place another one on top. Place the baci di dama on a cooling rack (or on a large plate) until the chocolate is firm.

Baci di dama store quite well. You can keep them for up to 1 week in an airtight container.

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