Bite-sized little treasures that are a taste sensation in the mouth.
I thought a lovely treat for Christmas would be a popular Italian cookie/biscuit known as Baci di dama, which translates as Lady’s Kisses. These are tiny little biscuit sandwiched together with some chocolate. The weight of each biscuit, before baking, is 5 grams so they are very small and can, if your mouth is as big as mine, be eaten in a single bite.
The biscuits are light, with a lovely texture that is complemented by the firm chocolate in the middle of the sandwiched pair.
Most recipes for these are very similar, with the main difference being that some use egg white when others don’t. For mine I decided to use egg white as they helps to bind the dough, and then the biscuits, together. I also decided to add just a little almond extract for additional flavour, but that is entirely optional.
I think these little treats would be ideal bagged in small numbers to offer as gifts for Christmas, as well as being enjoyed as little snacks at home.
The recipe is very easy, but it is a little bit fiddly since the dough has to be divided into 5 gram pieces. Then rolled into balls before baking. Melted, and cooled, chocolate has to be piped onto the underside of half of them before the other half are placed on top.
But the effort is worth it as you end up with a very tasty treat.
This recipe will make about 80-82 Baci di dama. Of course, you could also make larger versions too if you wanted, though you might have to increase the baking time a little, depending on size.
Mine turned out very well indeed. I found it hard to resist eating them rather more that is good for me.
These can also be made with ground hazelnuts, which adds a completely different, and equally delicious, flavour.
Christmas Biscotti is another good biscuit for the holiday season.
Baci di dama – Lady’s Kisses – Video
- 200g(1 1/3 cup, based on scooping packed flour into a 250 ml cup) of plain flour
- 200g(14 1/2 tbsp) softened unsalted butter
- 200g(2 cups)ground almonds
- 200g(1 cup) caster sugar
- 1 medium egg white(large in USA)
- 1/2 tsp almond extract(optional)
- pinch of salt
- 150g(1 cup) dark chocolate callets(or finely chopped chocolate)
- In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg white, salt and almond extract(if using) and mix until combined.
- Add the ground almonds and mix again until fully combined.
- Add the flour and mix again, until just combined.
- Pull the mixture together into a soft dough.
- Shape into a disc or rectangle and wrap in plastic wrap, then chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into 5 gram pieces and roll each piece into a ball, then place on the prepared abking trays (you will need to do this in batches, so you can chill the remaining dough until needed if you wish).
- Bake the biscuits in the oven for 12 to 14 minutes, until they just start to change colour.
- Allow to cool a little and carefully transfer to a wire rack too cool completely.
- Melt the dark chocolate in a bain marie(double boiler), or in a microwave on half power in 15 second intervals stirring each time.
- When the chocolate has cooled somewhat and becomes a little firmer again transfer to a piping bag(you can spoon the chocolate instead if you wish).
- Turn over half of the biscuits and pipe a little of the chocolate on each underside, ensuring the consistency is thick enough that it doesn’t run.
- Place the remaining biscuits, carefully on top of the chocolate and press down very gently.
- Allow the chocolate filling to set completely before serving the Baci di dama.