Baci di Dama (Italian Hazelnut Cookies)

Baci di Dama ( Italian Hazelnut Cookies): two buttery hazelnut cookies sandwiched together with a dollop of dark chocolate. Perfect with a cup of coffee or espresso!

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 2/3 cup (100 grams) hazelnuts toasted and skinned
  • 3/4 cup+1 tablespoon (100 grams) all-purpose flour sifted
  • 3.5 ounces (100 grams) unsalted butter cut into small cubes and at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup+1 tablespoon (85 grams) granulated sugar

For the filling:

  • 1.8 ounces (50 grams) bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chopped

Instructions

TOAST THE HAZELNUTS:
  1. Toast the hazelnuts at 160 degrees C (320 degrees F) for 15 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant.

  2. Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and rub them in a kitchen towel until the loose skins come off (don’t worry about skins that don’t come off).

  3. Once completely cool, pulse the nuts in a food processor until they resemble sand.
DOUGH:
  1. Transfer the hazelnuts to a bowl, add the flour, butter, and sugar.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together until the butter is evenly dispersed, and the dough is smooth.

CHILL:
  1. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a log. Chill the logs on a baking sheet for 1 hour.
SHAPE:
  1. Cut off equal-sized pieces (more or less weighing 8 grams each) and roll them into tiny balls between the palms of your hands. Work with one log of dough at a time, leaving the others in the fridge, so they stay cold.

  2. Place the balls on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, slightly spaced apart. Put the baking sheet in the fridge for 1 hour.
BAKE:
  1. Bake the baci di dama for 15 minutes at 160 degrees C (320 degrees F ), until they are set to the touch and lightly golden.
  2. Let the cookies cool completely before filling.
FILLING:
  1. In a clean, dry bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate until smooth.  Let it cool for a few minutes until it thickens slightly.

ASSEMBLE:
  1. Put a dollop of chocolate on one cookie and place another one on top.

  2. Once filled, put the baci di dama on a cooling wire rack until the chocolate is firm.
STORAGE:
  1. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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