BACI DI DAMA (ITALIAN HAZELNUT COOKIES)
Prep time: 1 HRS 30 MINS cook time: 20 MINS
Author: COOK’s ILLUSTRATED
Baci di Dama ( Italian Hazelnut Cookies) = two buttery hazelnut cookies sandwiched together with a dollop of dark chocolate. Perfect with un cafecito or café au lait!
3/4 cup (3oz./85g) hazelnuts toasted and partially skinned
2/3 cup (3.3 oz) AP Flour
1/3 (2.3 oz) cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter cut into small cubes, chilled
CHOCO FILLING: 2 oz. melting chocolate (I used 60% Cocoa Ghirardelli baking morsels)
TOAST: Toast the hazelnuts at 325F for 15 minutes, until fragrant, shaking the pan every 5 minutes or so. Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and rub them in a kitchen towel or oven mitts until the loose skins come off. It’s okay if they’re not all naked.
DOUGH: Once completely cool, pulse the nuts in a food processor with all the DRY ingredients (hazelnuts, flour, sugar, salt) until it resembles a FINE SANDY POWDER. Don’t skip this step. It should be pretty fine. Only after you get to a powder, then add the butter chunks, pulse until just combined.
CHILL & SHAPE: Ball up your dough. Place it on a parchment sheet then roll out into a very even 8x8” square, roughly 1/4” thick. Put the sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes. Carefully divide into a series of 64 cubes (7 cuts vertical and horizontal = 64 tiny squares of dough). I got the best shape by pressing the little balls of dough onto a teaspoon and sliding them off.
BAKE: Bake the cookies for 20 minutes at 325F, until they are set to the touch and lightly golden. Let the cookies cool. Arrange in even rows. Flip every other row to receive chocolate filling.
FILL: Microwave your 2 oz. of chocolate at 50% power for 20 seconds. Stir. Repeat the low heat/stirring until smooth. Let it cool a bit, then pipe onto the upturned cookies and squish it’s partner on top. Allow to cool on wire or other rack.
STORAGE: up to a week in jar/airtight container.