The Cutest Cookie Recipe: Italian Baci di Dama Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Baci di Dama are the sweetest little cookies we’ve ever seen, and they taste just as good as they look! Hailing from Piedmont, a northern region of Italy, they consist of bite-sized, chocolate-filled hazelnut cookies, and their name translates directly to “lady’s kisses”. They’re the perfect treat year-round, but we start craving them pretty intensely once February rolls around…they’re just so cute!

While they may seem like a lot of work, we promise you they’re worth it. You get into a groove when you start forming the cookies, and the lighter-than-air result is to die for. Whether you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day recipe, or just want to add to your list of mastered desserts, these baci (kisses) will absolutely brighten your day!

The Cutest Cookie Recipe: Italian Baci di Dama Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Baci di Dama Cookies

Yield: 4-5 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 oz. semisweet chocolate (chips or chopped from a block of chocolate)

Directions

  1. Once you have skinned all the hazelnuts, place them in food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand.
  2. Pour nuts into a large bowl and sift in all-purpose flour. Mix together well.
  3. Mix in the cubed butter, sugar and salt and use your hands to blend together until rough dough forms.
  4. Continue to knead until dough becomes smooth.
    Note: if dough still isn’t coming together, add 1 teaspoon cold water and knead to incorporate.
  5. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each out into a 3/4 inch-thick log. Take care to make them as smooth as possible.
  6. Place logs on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 325º F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Take 1 roll out of the refrigerator and cut off 1-cm-sized pieces (weighing 5-8 grams, if you have a scale).
  9. Roll each piece into a ball the size of a small marble and try to make them as even as possible.
  10. Repeat with remaining dough and transfer cookie balls to baking sheets.
  11. Place in oven and bake for 10-13 minutes, or until cookies are a light golden color.
  12. Remove from oven and let cool.
  13. Set up a double-boiler with a heat proof glass set over a saucepan of lightly simmering water and add chopped chocolate.
  14. Melt chocolate until smooth, then place a pea-sized dollop of chocolate one the flat side of one cookie.
  15. Create a cookie sandwich by pressing the flat side of a second cookie into the chocolate.
  16. Repeat with remaining cookies and transfer to a wire rack to set and harden completely.

To toast hazelnuts:

  • Preheat oven to 325º F.
  • Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until deep brown.
  • Remove from oven, transfer to and wrap in a clean kitchen towel.
  • Once cooled slightly, rub towel vigorously to peel majority of skins off.
  • Use your hands to take off remaining skins.

Recipe adapted from As Easy As Apple Pie