No, they are not healthy; but hell yeah, they’re good!
“Baci di Dama” means “Lady’s Kisses”, a name given by the shape of these delicious sweet treats: two small rounded buttery cookies sticked together with a layer of chocolate. What’s not to love about that?
You will notice my “Baci” look quite yellowish. That’s because I used mostly cornmeal instead of normal flour, but honestly I wouldn’t choose that again and I would go for the white unbleached or the whole wheat flour next time.
[In the foreground of the picture you can see the actual subject of my photo: the cutest tiny jars my mum brought me from France. I love Bonne Maman jam, it reminds me of when I used to go on holiday to Southern France, on the river Gardon; we used to go camping: we parked out light-blue Renault 4 and we put up the tent. I used to love it, and these little jars remind me just of those weeks.]
Anyways, enough about my Proustian moments and let’s go ahead talking about the “Baci di Dama”.
They originate from the city of Tortona, in the region Piemonte, in the Northern part of Italy. They were created for the first time in the 18th century. It is believed that Victor Emmanuel II of Italy had asked his cook a new and different sweet treat. There where only a few ingredients in the pantry, and the “Baci di Dama” is what the chef came up with.
Baci di Dama (makes 20), recipe adapted from GialloZafferano
Note: you will need a couple of hours more to allow the dough to rest.
70 g flour
70 g butter
70 g peeled almonds
50 g sugar
70 g chocolate (whichever kind you like)
a few drops vanilla extract
zest of half an orange
a pinch of salt
Put the almonds and the sugar together in a food processor and mix.
Put the soft butter, cut into cubes, in a bowl; add the flour and the almond together with the sugar. Start blending with your hands. Add the orange zest, the vanilla extract and the salt. Work until you will obtain a soft, uniform dough. Wrap the dough in some cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for about an hour.
After an hour, remove the dough from the fridge and start making small balls of dough (around 3 cm diameter). Cover an baking tray with some parchment paper and place the small balls onto it, leaving a couple of centimeters between one and the other ball. Allow to rest in the fridge for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven at 140 C.
Take the little dough balls out of the fridge and put in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the cookies are golden on the outside.
While the cookies are baking melt the chocolate sing the bain-marie technique. When the cookies will be cooled down take one cookie and put some of the melted chocolate (after it melt wait until it has thickened up a tiny bit) on it; then cover it with another cookie.
Wait until the chocolate cools down completely before serving.