madonna del piatto

Italian family cooking

baci di dama cookies

23 Comments

lovely baci di dama from Piedmont (but made in Umbria!)

Baci di dama, lady’s kisses. Heavenly lips with a chocolate smile. These are classic Italian cookies from Piemonte, one of the gastronomic meccas of Italy. The region is rich in all sorts of delicacies such as hazelnuts, chocolate, truffles and some of the best wines known to mankind. My best friend Diana – also an innkeeper – lives in Piemonte.  When I make these cookies I think of her and I wish we could meet more often, bake cookies and drink some of that splendid wine.

Real Baci di dama allegedly come from Tortona, a little town South east of Torino, and are made with almonds.  It is also reported that the kisses originate in the Savoia king’s kitchens and are made with hazelnuts.

I’m not fond of our former royals, but I love hazelnuts. In addition, I love this recipe. It’s quick, easy and fills the kitchen with a rich aroma of nuts and butter that never fails to cheer me up.

Recipe

  • 100 gr. ( 3.5 oz) hazelnuts
  • 110 gr. ( 1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150 gr. (1 cup) pastry flour
  • 1 egg white
  • powdered sugar to coat
  • 60 gr (3 oz ) 70% dark chocolate

Place all dry ingredients and the butter in a food processor bowl. Using the blade at high speed, blend until most of the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 2 minutes. Stir in the egg white and vanilla and blend until the mixture forms a dough, one more minute. It is important not to overheat the butter in the dough, so do not overwork.

With lightly floured hands roll the dough into 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick cylinders.  Cut each cylinder into 2 cm (2/3 inch) pieces and roll them into balls. Carefully arrange the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 180° C/ 350° F. Bake the cookies in middle of the oven for 30 minutes until slightly golden. Meanwhile place two tabsp powdered sugar in a paper bag. Pull the baking sheet from the oven and wait a few minutes until the cookies are cool enough to handle. Place 1/3 of the cookies in the paper bag and shake lightly to coat them with sugar. Place the coated cookies on a wire rack and repeat the sugar coating with all other cookies, one third at the time. Add more powdered sugar to the bag if necessary.

If you stop here, you have made delightful hazelnut cookies with hardly any time and effort.

aren’t they  cuties? just before kissing

Now, if you are in need of sophistication, melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a small pan over low heat. Let it cool off to obtain a thick spreadable cream. To assemble the baci di dama, sandwich two cookies of similar size with a thin layer of melted chocolate in between. Serve to high acclaim.

Makes 46 kisses.

Author: madonnadelpiatto

Former scientist, I now run B&B and cooking school Alla Madonna del Piatto in Assisi, Umbria, central Italy, together with my husband Ruurd, daughter Tea and truffle dog Google. We love good food and wine, travel, beautiful handicrafts like textiles and pottery. We feel fortunate to be able to share our magical mountain with many friends from all over the world.

23 thoughts on “baci di dama cookies

  1. I love that: “serve to high acclaim!” And the cookies have all my favorite ingredients! I assume the butter should be fairly cold? Just out of the fridge? Do you think these would work with regular flour? Grazie mille!

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  2. It can only be fate! I just pulled up my old baci di dama recipe and was planning on making them this week! I love them and have since I first discovered them when we lived in Italy. And here I am just discovering your blog and there they are, as beautiful and mouth-watering as ever! Glad to meet you!

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  3. I’m going to make these for our holiday party! Thanks Letizia – and Diana!

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  4. “High acclaim” indeed! These look fantastic, Letizia.

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  5. Letizia, I want to tell you I made these last night, and while they were “cooling” and waiting for me to do the chocolate phase, they all disappeared!!!! True–they were that popular. Anyway, I’m going to make them again soon, and hopefully will make it to the chocolate stage cuz those look so cute.

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  6. Oh, I know I will not be able to find these ingredients or make these cookies, so someone will have to just mail me a box full.
    Thank you so much ! :)
    besitos
    C

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  7. this post should go viral :) MWA MWA (two kisses). My favorite cookies. Other than soft Amaretti. No, I love them both equally.

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  8. those look delicious :)
    thanks for sharing the recipe
    Dana

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  9. With these cookies you’ve taken me back to my nonnas house. They look absolutely delightful.

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  10. Many many thanks for sharing this wonderful beautiful recipe with the rest of us. I am now making yet another batch for the holiday treats.

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  11. My Mom used to make pecan crescents rolled in sugar that seem similar. But with the chocolate in between, oh my! I will try these.

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  12. Pingback: Holiday Recipes from Italy | Once in a Lifetime Travel

  13. I was treated to thesein Assisi this summer, only they made them with a layer of white chocolate and rolled them in coconut. They were like heavenly Raffelo candies. I attempted them when I got home and made a pretty good imitation using walnuts instead of hazelnuts. Thank you SOOooo much for sharing the real recipe. Buon Natale!!!

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  14. Re: The cookies in Assisi: dark chocolate was used to stick two together, it was then dipped or brushed with white chocolate and coated in coconut! Thanks again!

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