Baci di Dama are irresistible, nutty, buttery cookies with a little bit of crunch. My kids love them. Usually I buy them in the bakery, but today I decided to prepare my own batch using this recipe.
200 gr Flour
100 gr Almonds (Toasted and skinned)
100 gr Hazelnuts (Toasted and skinned)
200 gr Unsalted butter
140 gr Sugar
Vanilla and orange zest
150 gr Chocolate
(You can use also only Almonds or Hazelnuts, in the second version the cookies will take a nuttier taste)
1. Put the hazelnuts and almonds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse them until very fine.
2. Transfer the ground nuts to a bowl and add the flour. Cut the butter into pieces then add the butter, sugar, and salt to the dry ingredients. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together until the butter is dispersed and completely incorporated. The dough should be very smooth and hold together. If not, knead it until it does. Put the dough in the fridge for 1 hour.
3. Divide the chilled dough into three equal pieces and roll each piece until it’s 3/4-inch (2cm) round. Try to get them as smooth as possible, with no cracks. If the dough is too long to work with as you roll them out, you can cut the dough at the midway point and work with it in batches.
4. Preheat oven to 325ºF (160ºC) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
5. Working with one length of dough at a time, keeping the others in the refrigerator or freezer, cut off equal-sized pieces using a knife or pastry cutter. The ideal is 7 grams each, if working with a scale. The fastest way to do it is to cut one to the right weight, then hold that one alongside the logs and use it as a template to cut the others. Once you’ve cut a length of dough, roll the pieces into nice little balls and place them on the baking sheet, slightly spaced apart.
6. Continue cutting the dough and rolling it into little balls. Bake the cookies for 20 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely before removing them from the backing sheet.
7. In a clean, dry bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate until smooth. Put a chocolate chip-sized dollop of chocolate on the bottom of one cookie and take another cookie, and sandwich the two halves together.
Once filled, set the Baci di Dama sideways on a wire cooling rack until the chocolate is firm.