Recipe adapted from Chocolate-Filled Hazelnut Cookies by The Best Of Gourmet-A Year of Celebrations, published by Conde Nast Publications Inc.
The recipe for these cute cookies comes from a cookbook that I purchased in Rhode Island while I was shopping with Mark’s Mom; she knows all the places to get good deals. I only paid $3 for the 20th anniversary edition of Gourmet- A year of Celebrations.
This recipe is from the chapter entitled Father’s Day Tuscan Dinner. Baci di dama (Italian for Lady’s Kisses) are pretty easy to make, however I did veer a little from the original recipe; I used almonds instead of hazelnuts, I infused the dough with Fiori di Sicilia, I added 2 extra Tablespoons butter to the dough because it was so crumbly it would not hold together well, and I made my cookies twice the size of the original recipe. They were dangerously delicious so I sent most of them in to work with Mark and they were well received. Enjoy!
3/4 cup almonds, toasted and cooled
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) plus 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, well softened, but not melted
1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia, optional
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup cake flour
3 ounces fine quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), preferably 70% cacao, chopped (I used Scharffenberger)
1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or a Silpat.
3. Grind cooled almonds with confectioners sugar, in a food processor until powdery, being careful not to process into a paste.
4. Mix together butter, zest, Fiori di Sicilia, salt, and nut mixture in a large bowl with a wooden spoon until creamy.
5. Add flour and stir just enough to mix, do not overwork the dough.
6. Roll dough into small balls (the original recipe suggests the balls be the size of marbles, mine were about twice that size). Arrange balls of dough about 1-2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake until very pale golden, about 12-14 minutes. Remove baked cookies from baking sheets and place on a rack to cool.
7. Melt chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, melt for 30 seconds, stir. Continue this pattern until chocolate is completely melted. Scrape chocolate into a plastic zip-type bag and snip the bottom corner of the bag off.
8. Squeeze melted chocolate onto the flat sides of half the cookies, top with the other half of the cookies. Press down to adhere the cookies to the chocolate.