Baci di dama, delicious Italian hazelnut cookies with a layer of chocolate are easy to make with just 5 ingredients!
Baci di dama are one of the most famous Italian cookies and for all the good reasons!
These traditional chocolate hazelnut cookies have a delicious nutty flavor, and a nice crispy exterior that encases a smooth chocolate center, making them absolutely delightful.
As an added bonus, they're super easy to make and require 5 simple ingredients.
They are a fantastic option for a dessert to please a crowd, and are simply delicious served with a smooth and creamy Italian hot chocolate or tea.
Moreover, these delicious hazelnut cookies make a wonderful Christmas gift idea too!
What are baci di dama?
Baci di dama cookies, born in the city of Tortona, are one of the most famous desserts from the Piedmont region, together with amaretti cookies.
Baci di dama, which means lady's kisses in Italian, are basically two small round cookies joined together by melted chocolate, resembling two kissing lips, hence the name of this popular Italian cookie recipe.
These chocolate hazelnut cookies are made with a dough similar to the Italian shortcrust pastry (pastra frolla), but with ground toasted hazelnuts added into the mix.
The result is a cookie with a crumbly buttery texture that melts in the mouth, with a deliciously gooey dark chocolate center, that gives just the perfect flavor pairing.
Hazelnut cookies ingredients
This hazelnut cookies recipe is proof that you don't need many ingredients to make a delicious Italian dessert.
You will need just 5 simple ingredients:
- Hazelnuts: Use peeled toasted hazelnuts pulsed in a food processor, or ground hazelnuts (also called hazelnut flour). Alternatively, you can also use peeled toasted almonds or almond flour.
- Butter: adds flavor and the perfect structure to the cookies. Make sure it's cold and chopped into small chunks.
- Flour: I use all-purpose flour or Italian 00 flour. Remember to sift the flour after you weigh it.
- Sugar: Use regular granulated sugar for this recipe. You can also use raw cane sugar.
- Chocolate: Go for high-quality dark chocolate. I like to use 70% dark chocolate, but you can pick your favorite (you can even use white chocolate!), or use homemade Nutella instead.
How to make baci di dama
This baci di dama recipe is very straightforward and easy to make.
Here's a quick recipe overview with step-by-step pictures.
For the full printable recipe, scroll down to the end of the post.
STEP 1. Toast the hazelnuts then pulse them with sugar in a food processor until finely ground.
STEP 2. Add hazelnut mixture, butter and flour in a large bowl and mix with your hand to form a smooth dough. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
STEP 3. Form small even dough balls, refrigerate for 30 minutes, then bake until golden brown.
STEP 4. Melt the chocolate, and allow it to cool. Spread 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate onto the bottom half of the cookies. Cover with the other half and press to adhere, allow to set then serve.
Chocolate hazelnut cookies tips
- The butter must be cold from the fridge. Then cut it into chunks and use it straight away.
- Chill the baci di dama cookie dough for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Dust your hands with a little flour when making the cookie balls.
- Chill the cookie balls for at least 30 minutes in the fridge, otherwise, your cookies will spread and flatten in the oven.
- Use high-quality chocolate. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave, then allow it to cool before use.
- Leave the chocolate to sit on the cookies for a few seconds, when you will see that it begins to thicken slightly, add the other half of the sphere.
- Wait to join the two halves of the cookies until the chocolate is slightly hardened, because if it is still too fluid the second sphere on the surface will slide away from the one at the base.
Yes, you can safely freeze these chocolate hazelnut cookies. I like to freeze them without the chocolate. Once you need them, thaw them in the fridge overnight, then add the chocolate a few hours before serving.
Yes, of course! I have tried them both, and I can guarantee you they taste equally delicious, whether you use toasted peeled almonds or hazelnuts.
More Italian cookie recipes you'll love
Looking for more traditional Italian cookie recipes to try? Here below are my favorites!
- Ricciarelli almond cookies
- Pignoli cookies
- Italian pinch cookies
- Limoncello cookies
- Italian S cookies
- Anginetti cookies
- Italian butter cookies
- Reginelle cookies
Did you try this recipe?
Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thepetitecook!
Baci di Dama - Hazelnut Cookies
- 100 g hazelnuts, peeled (approx ¾ cup)
- 100 g sugar, (approx ½ cup)
- 100 g all purpose flour, (approx ¾ cup)
- 100 g butter, cold, cut into small cubes (approx ⅖ cups)
- 40 g dark chocolate, chopped (approx ¼ cup)
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 170℃. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the hazelnuts in a single layer and roast them for 10 minutes or until just golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
- Place roasted hazelnuts and sugar in a food processor and pulse them until very finely ground.
- Transfer the hazelnut mixture into a large bowl, add the flour and cold butter cut into chunks. Mix with your hands until you form a smooth even dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Use your hands to form small even balls ( about 2 teaspoon of dough each) and place them on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325℉/160℃ and arrange the baking rack onto the middle shelf.
- Bake the baci di dama cookies for about 15-17 minutes, or until they have a crispy surface and a nice golden color. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
- Place the chopped dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and place it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir gently, then microwave it again for 30 seconds, then stir again until completely melted. Allow the chocolate to cool before use.
- Spread 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate onto the bottom half of the cookies. Allow the chocolate to sit and harden slightly, then cover with the other half and press to adhere. Allow the baci di dama cookies to set, then serve.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.