Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Baci Di Dama

May 2010 288

I don’t know about you, but when I sit down with a cup of tea or coffee, I want a little nibble to go with it. When you’re ordering an espresso in Italy, it’s easy to find bars that offer a selection of miniature goodies including these little cookie nuggets called baci di dama – or ladies’ kisses.

I don’t need a humongous slice of layer cake slathered with frosting. Just give me a few little cookies to satisfy my sweet tooth.  Look at this photo with a plate of small cookies including baci di dama , resting next to two cups of macchiati (plural of macchiato, which is an espresso with a touch of steamed milk. Macchiato literally means stained in Italian). One reason you gotta love Italy is for the coffee. Aside from the quality, which puts Starbucks and most other U.S. coffee joints to shame, the price is so reasonable. 

image You can see from this photo we paid only 3 euros and 60 cents for two outstanding macchiati . That would have been about $5.00 U.S. Plus they brought us a couple of glasses of water and a small plate of delicious little cookies,  including baci di dama, for free. Oh yes, and a little extra warmed milk if we needed it.  How civilized!

Now, truth be told, in Italy it’s not typical to get such a nice dish of cookies for free at your local neighborhood bar. The photo was taken in the cafe of the castello in Ferrara. But baci di dama can be found in many bars and bakeries all over Italy.

I was long overdue making baci di dama myself, so I started out by searching the web and came up with this recipe from Epicurious.com. But after reading some of the reviews from people who had used the recipe, I decided to make some adjustments, including the addition of baking powder, more butter and more hazelnuts.

May 2010 301

The cookies should be a little more spherical than mine, but part of the problem was that I rolled the dough into balls that I thought were small enough, but really weren’t. They spread a little and they’re fine that way, but if you make them smaller – more like the size of a large marble – you’ll get a cookie that is closer to the authentic baci di dama you find in Italy.

May 2010 272

Baci Di Dama

Printable Recipe Here

  • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted , any loose skins rubbed off in a kitchen towel, and cooled
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, well softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate, melted  (Melt chocolate in the microwave over low heat, or in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets with butter or line with parchment paper.

    Put nuts into food processor with confectioner’s sugar and pulse until finely ground. Don’t let it become a paste.

    Place the softened butter, zest, salt, and nut mixture in a mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Add flour, and baking powder, stirring until mixed.

    Form little balls the size of marbles (I made mine bigger but they get a more rounded appearance if they’re smaller.) Place on greased baking sheets and bake, one sheet at a time, until pale golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool, then spread a little melted chocolate on one half and press a second cookie onto the other side.

     

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  • 32 comments:

    Stacey Snacks said...

    These are right up my alley!
    Hazelnut sandwiches with chocolate middles.
    I am not great making cookie dough, so freeze some for me, please!

    natalia said...

    Che buoni ! They are one of my preferred cookies !! I shoul check for more recipe and let you know !

    Cathy said...

    What delicious little bites! Hazelnuts and chocolate are made for each other. I would love a plate of these with my morning coffee.

    Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

    What cute little baci! A delicate treat which must go really well with coffee!

    cheers,

    Rosa

    Proud Italian Cook said...

    When I have coffee I need a little something too, so these are right up the same alley Stacey's in. I dream about the different coffees I had in Italy, nothing compares, I love your photo, I would be sitting right in front of it all, enjoying each and every sip and bite!

    Linda said...

    Oh these look wonderful...I am having coffee right now and would love one!

    Susi said...

    These cookies look heavenly. I love hazelnuts! I wonder if they could be filled with Nutella? Hmmmm, I might have to go on a baking adventure soon :o)

    Mary said...

    I have fallen in love with the name of this cookie. They are such delicious looking bites that I know I could not resist them. I love the recipes and will probably fire up the oven to give them a try. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

    Jen_from_NJ said...

    I love a little something sweet with a cup of coffee. Your cookies sound and look just perfect! Hazelnuts and chocolate make for a winning combination.

    lisaiscooking said...

    I'm ready for a coffee break this afternoon, and I wish I had a couple of these lovely, little cookies! They look great!

    doggybloggy said...

    they look like macarons but they are not - what a great cookie - I think I am in love with baci di dama -

    Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

    A perfect little snack to have with a cup of espresso!

    I'd love to enjoy eating them sitting at a little cafe in a piaza in Italy along with drinking the wonderful coffee!

    Claudia said...

    I will not eat chocolate...I will not eat chocolate... well... maybe just this once.
    Planning a 2011 trip to Italy...these will be on my list. Of course, I'll bake them first.

    Susan from Food Blogga said...

    Finally, this is one time when the English name of a confection is as pretty as the Italian name. They are delightful!

    Julie said...

    I don't think I can pronounce them, but I'd sure love to have one!

    bellini valli said...

    Now that is the wat to enjoy coffee:D

    Maria said...

    I would love to indulge in those along with a piping hot cup of coffee! Perfect little sweet bites.

    Phyllis said...

    These are so adorable, I love these little hazelnut sandwich cookies. I can't wait to try them, thank you for perfecting the recipe for all your readers :)

    daniela said...

    che belli Linda !!!! ben fatti e croccantini. braavissima e belle anche le foto:-)))

    natural selection said...

    Linda I'm right there with you with the coffee. I learned coffee from Italians the "real" way and the US is still coming into its own with coffee! From one who was in the cafe business I appreciate your post.
    StarBucks is not it...
    New York City is having a coffee revolution right now and I recommend Stumptown Coffee Roasters on 18W 29th give it a shot! No pun intended!

    Lori said...

    These sound totally delicious. They had me at hazelnuts.

    Mary said...

    I'm so glad that someone else has tasted the pie. Was your Canadian friend from a community near a Mennonite settlement or was the pie a spontaneous creation like crepes or omelets? Have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

    Marcellina said...

    Oooooh, how delicious! I love this post. Actually I love your blog but I haven't had time to pop in for a while. I recently acquire a book "Caffe Italia" which has a recipe for Baci di Dama and they are the first thing I want to make. Now I can follow your tips. Fantastic, they look so yum!

    tobias cooks! said...

    Great little baci! They look delicious.

    Daniela said...

    Sono buonissimi, brava Linda i tuoi baci di dama sono perfetti. Buon fine settimana Daniela.

    Susan @ SGCC said...

    I LOVE those little cookies! I remember them well. I'm bookmarking this recipe to try for myself. They look wonderful!

    Kate at Serendipity said...

    I loved Ferrara! We spent a rainy afternoon in the castle there, and left with tons of photos of that terrace with the lemon trees.

    These cookies look wonderful. They're just the thing with a cup of espresso. Thanks!

    Hungry Dog said...

    I love baci di dama and these look absolutely perfect. They are going on my "to make" list immediately!

    thedabble said...

    I could eat way too many of these with my coffee and I don't care. Great recipe!

    bake in paris said...

    These cookies are so cute, remind me of macarons....

    Sawadee from Bangkok,
    Kris

    Rifadella said...

    I am wondering where I can pick them up at since i am not a baker. I am in the Los Angeles area. Any suggestions? I will even order online. Thanks

    Ciao Chow Linda said...

    Rifadella - You could try Eataly in NYC. I know they have them. Whether they send by mail order I don't know.