Baci di Dama Cookies
Italians are famous for delicious cookies and baci di dama are among the most favourite ones. These elegant cookies from Piedmont in Italy's north are just what you'd expect from cookies - sweet and delicate. Baci di dama literally means lady's kisses as they look like two lips holding together a chocolate kiss. Their short crust is made either of hazelnuts or almonds but in this recipe we used a combination of both nuts.
You can easily make these cookies at home but be sure to follow a few basic rules. When preparing the dough use cold butter and once ready refrigerate it for at least 1 hour. Also bake the cookies at low temperature and don't over-bake them (the bottoms should be light brown). Don't touch the cookies until they are completely cool as they are very fragile.
Babi di dama are very delicate and irresistible, just one leaves you wanting more and no wonder that they are among the most popular cookies in Italy.
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COOKS IN: 60 minutes plus chilling time
FOR THE COOKIES
- 100 g plain flour
- 100 g caster sugar
- 50 g hazelnuts
- 50 g almonds
- 100 g butter
FOR THE CHOCOLATE FILLING
- Toast the hazelnuts in the oven until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and rub them to remove the skin. Now toast the almonds in the same way and let them cool completely. Ground both of nuts.
- Transfer nuts into a mixing bowl and combine with flour, sugar and cubed butter. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until you have a mixture resembling breadcrumbs. Knead the ingredients until they all come together into a dough, cover with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for about 1 hour.
- When ready to make the cookies, remove the dough from the fridge and using your hands start forming small balls (2 cm in diameter). Place them on a lined baking tray, making sure that there is enough space in between each one as they will spread during baking.
- Bake them in the oven preheated to 140°C - 150°C for about 13-15 minutes. The cookies will be very lightly bakes and extremely fragile at this point so let them cool completely before touching them. Once cool, they harden enough to handle.
- For the chocolate filling, break the chocolate into small pieces and place with the butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir gently until melted and smooth. Let it cool for a few minutes or until it becomes thicker.
- Place a half teaspoon of melted chocolate on one cookie and place another one on top. Once filled, place the cookies on a cooling wire rack until the chocolate is firm.
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