Baci di Dama

025Perugina, the renowned Italian confectionery icon, is Italy’s most beloved chocolate maker. On Valentine’s Day in 1922, Luisa Spagnoli, the co-founder, created their signature candy. Baci, meaning kisses in Italian, is the luscious chocolate and hazelnut confection that comes in the blue and silver foil-wrapping with the “special” love note tucked inside.

Baci di Dama (lady kisses) are Italian cookies inspired by the candy. The traditional recipe calls for hazelnuts but, I used pecans. These bite-size biscotti are made by joining two cookies together with a “kiss” of chocolate and is a sweet way to say “I love you” any day of the year!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pecans, toasted
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  1. In a food processor, pulse the pecans with the sugar until finely ground. and then transfer to a bowl. Using a firm rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, mix in the butter until thoroughly combined.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder and then incorporate it into the butter mixture (it will appear crumbly, rather than smooth). Transfer to a large piece of plastic wrap and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Using a teaspoonful of mixture, compress it in the palm of your hand and then shape into small balls about 3/4-inch (I know they seem small but, they are suppose to be bite-size).
  4. Arrange the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. I get 24 per sheet. Bake in a 325* oven for 15 minutes. let cool completely.
  5. Melt the chocolate to a spreadable consistency in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pot of simmering water.
  6. Transfer the cookies (rounded side down) to a flat surface and spread a little of the chocolate on the flat sides. Place the flatter side of another cookie on top of each. They will set up in a few minutes. This recipe makes 30 cookies. Store your Baci di Dama in an airtight container.

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