Baci di Dama, also know as Italian Hazelnut Cookies, are hazelnut biscuits typical of Piedmontese pastry, in particular of the city of Tortona. Crumbly and tasty, lady's kisses are nothing more than two puffy layers of butter shortcrust pastry joined by a thread of dark chocolate, like two mouths kissing. In short, a kiss-proof recipe!
This biscuits recipe dates back to the second half of the Nineteenth century; the pastry chefs of Tortona initially used hazelnuts, which are less expensive and easier to find, but over time the use of almonds has also spread. Choose the version you prefer and prepare the lady's kisses with hazelnut flour, with almonds, but also with both, for a delicious result.
Preparing Baci di Dama is not difficult, but it is important to follow very carefully all the steps of the recipe. Pay attention to the oven temperature, which must not exceed 140 degrees C to avoid burning them. Let the shortcrust pastry rest in the cold, before working it. The advice is to put it in the freezer for at least 1 hour. This way they will not flatten, but they will be puffy and round in their classic shape. So, if you are ready to knead, let’s see how to prepare swollen and fragrant Baci di Dama at home.
For the shortcrust pastry, mix the softened butter into cubes and the sugar in a planetary bowl. Mix with the electric whisk at minimum speed, until you will get a well blended mixture. Add the hazelnut flour and mix again.
In a bowl pour the egg white with a pinch of salt. Mix and add it to the rest of the mixture, making the fat mass mix well. Finally, add the sifted type 00 flour and mix on low speed.
Move the dough onto a clean and lightly floured work surface. Form a loaf but without kneading it. Wrap it in plastic film and let it rest in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 hours.
On the work surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is about 1 cm thick. Eliminate the outer edge and carefully cut the pastry squares of about 2 cm x 2 cm.
Shape the dough into small balls by rolling them with your hands and arrange them well spaced on a baking sheet. Bake in static mode at 140 degrees C for 20-25 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden on the surface. While the biscuits are cooling, melt the dark chocolate at bain-marie or in the microwave oven, then place a layer on the flat part of the cookie and add it to another.
The italian hazelnut Cookies can be preserved for a week in a tin box or in a glass bell jar.
Avoid paper bags or containers that don't have an airtight seal. The best jars are those with a lid with a seal.