Baci di dama cookies

Italian baci di dama cookies recipe
Baci di dama, meaning “lady’s kisses” 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.
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 these cookies. The recipe is quick, easy and fills the kitchen with a rich aroma of nuts and butter that never fails to cheer me up.

  • 100 gr. ( 3.5 oz) hazelnuts or almonds
  • 125 gr. ( 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, fridge cold
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150 gr. (1 cup) all purpose flour with low gluten content (9-10%)
  • zest of 1/2 orange or 1 lemon
  • 1 egg white
  • pinch of salt

To finish:

  • powdered sugar to coat
  • 60 gr (3 oz ) 70% dark chocolate
  • 1/4 teaspoon butter

Toast nuts in a small pan over low heat until fragrant, 3-4 minutes.  You can also use equal weight of nut flour but freshly toasted nuts are more flavorful. Cool nuts, then transfer into the bowl of a food processor, add sugar and blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add flour, salt, zest, vanilla, blend, then add butter and blend briefly to incorporate. Stir in the egg white and blend until the mixture forms a dough, one more minute. It is important not to overheat the butter in the dough, so make sure to blend for the shortest possible time.
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. Note that if it’s summer and your kitchen is hot, you might need to refrigerate the dough for 20-30 minutes before rolling.
Preheat oven to 180° C/ 350° F. Bake the cookies in middle of the oven for 20-30 minutes until slightly golden. Dust the hot cookies generously with powder sugar on all sides, then let them cool.
baci di dama
Melt the chocolate with 1/4 teaspoon butter 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 about 40 kisses.


  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!

    • Hi Jann, yes, fridge cold butter works wonders. Regular flour is OK but you will get a less crunchy texture. Pastry or unleavened and unflavored cake flour should be available in most countries though.

  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!

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!!!

  8. 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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