Perugina, 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! You may also enjoy Palline all’ Arancia.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Melt the chocolate to a spreadable consistency in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pot of simmering water.
- 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.