Crisp, nutty, buttery cookies with an adorable Italian name — Baci di Dama means “Lady’s Kisses.” These addictive hazelnut treats, sandwiched together with melted chocolate, are a family favorite! AND this year I’ve got these beauties pulling double duty!!
As you might remember from prior stories, my family celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah. Our poor kids right? Double the presents and holiday treats! Candy canes AND chocolate gelt… I’d say, NOT BAD!!
So with the season in full swing, I’ve been busy in the test kitchen…
And do I have the PERFECT cookie for you to munch on!?!
I first developed this recipe for this year’s Christmas cookie platter, however, on reflection found a way to have one, delicious, delectable cookie work equally well for both holidays.
Not only are these ADORABLE with zero adornment, but you can make them more festive with ANY color you choose!
I’m showing them here in Hanukkah blue, but they could be festooned in green, red, silver or gold.
Sanding sugar is found in the cake decorating aisle of just about every grocery store, and adding color to these beauties is as easy as rolling the dough balls in sugar ahead of baking.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! From my family to yours, I wish you a season of joy, cheer, mirth and merriment!
Can I add even more ZEST to these Baci di Dama Cookies?
They really ARE so good just as is, but if you’re feeling extra zesty, I have two suggestions. I tested one batch with the addition of 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and another batch with the addition of 1 teaspoon of orange zest. Happy to say both versions are delicious. Just don’t add both zest and cinnamon to the same batch. That’ll be one confused cookie 😉
Are there any substitutions?
- You can use almond flour (sometimes sold as almond meal) in place of the hazelnut flour. Look for both kinds of nut flours in the health food area of your grocery store.
- If you would like to make these gluten free, rice flour can be used in place of the all-purpose flour.
- You can use nutella, or another store-bought chocolate hazelnut spread, in place of the melted chocolate.
Any other tips for these Baci di Dama Cookies?
- I recommend melting the chocolate in a double boiler (see my video on how to use a double boiler), as it is a more gentle heat and it will reduce your chances of scorching the chocolate. You could also do it in short bursts in the microwave, stirring between each.
- You will be tempted to put a lot of melted chocolate on the cookie, but it really needs just a dab. If you overdo it, it will just squish out the sides and onto the parchment paper. After doing a few, you’ll get the hang of it. If it’s too runny, give it a few minutes to cool down and it will be easier to spread.
- After they are sandwiched, popping the cookies in the refrigerator will firm up the chocolate more quickly. They don’t need to be stored in the fridge though, once they are set up just keep them at room temperature.
- I tested these using a chocolate-hazelnut spread instead of the chocolate, which gave it an extra hazelnutty flavor that I adore. The only issue was that the spread remains soft, and doesn’t create a firm seal for the sandwich cookies. You could try it out if you love nutella, but just be aware of this flaw in the cookie if you go that route.
Watch me make my Baci di Dama Cookies:
Baci di Dama Cookies
- 1 cup hazelnut flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 stick unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate for filling
- Optional colored sanding sugar for rolling the cookies
- Combine the hazelnut flour, all-purpose flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the softened butter and process until the dough comes together and is the flour is fully hydrated by the butter. Divide the dough into four parts, and roll each into a log about ½ inch thick. Wrap each log in plastic, then pop in the freezer for 15 minutes, or refrigerate for two hours.
- Preheat the oven to 325 and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Cut the dough into equal sizes, and roll into balls about the size of a large marble. If using sanding sugar, roll the balls in the sugar. Place on the cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart, and bake for 12-14 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, or in short 15-20 increments in the microwave, stirring between each, until just melted. Spread a bit of chocolate on the flat side of one of the cookies and make a sandwich with another cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used.
- Cookies keep at room temperature for a week.
Which friends will be interested in this recipe?