Baci di Dama – Lady's Kisses Cookies
- 1 cup raw hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour*
- 1/3 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- *Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour hazelnuts onto a rimmed cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until fragrant. Remove nuts from pan and place in a dishtowel. Rub vigorously while warm to remove as much of hazelnut skins as possible. Discard skins and set nuts aside to cool.
- Line cookie sheet with parchment. Once hazelnuts have cooled, place in a food processor with the flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Process until nuts are finely ground. Add butter chunks and vanilla bean paste and continue processing until dough starts to clump together. It will still be a bit crumbly.
- Dump dough onto a work surface and press together to form a cohesive dough. Use a kitchen scale to divide into four equal portions. Press and roll each portion into a long cigar shape, about 1 inch thick. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- Working one piece at a time, unwrap dough and cut into 16 sections using a sharp paring knife. Roll into balls and place onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes or until baked through. Let rest on baking sheet at least five minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Once cookies have cooled, melt chocolate in microwave at 50% power in 30-second intervals. Stir after each interval. Reduce time as needed, being careful not to overheat.
- Let chocolate cool five minutes, then pour into a piping bag. Snip tip and squeeze a small dollop of melted chocolate onto bottoms of half of cookies. Press another cookie on top. Place cookies sideways on cooling rack to set for 30 minutes before serving.
Recipe developed for Imperial Sugar by Bridget Edwards @Bake at 350.
NOTE: Remove as much of the hazelnut skins as possible, but it’s not necessary to remove every bit. The skins will add flecks of color that make these cookies beautiful and unique.