Italian Cookies (Baci di Dama)

Made with two light bite-size hazelnut cookies joined with dark chocolate, this traditional recipe is from the northwest region of Italy.
Based on a recipe from Natasha's Kitchen recipe blog, December 4, 2018.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
chilling time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Desserts - Cookies
Servings: 40 cookies
Author: Catherine Christiano



  • 2 cups hazelnuts roasted and skinned
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter cold, cut into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Chocolate Filling

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Roast and Peel Hazelnuts

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread nuts in single layer on pan. Bake 10 - 15 minutes, tossing frequently. Remove before they start to brown.
  • To peel, allow to cool completely. Transfer nuts to ziplock bag and rub from outside. Shake bag until skins fall to bottom.
  • Place nuts in food processor and pulse until the consistency of flour with small pieces.


  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In large bowl of stand mixer whisk together ground hazelnuts, flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add cold butter pieces and vanilla; mix until butter pieces are no longer visible and a dough forms.
  • Use a small melon baller or ice cream scoop to form 2 teaspoon size balls. Arrange on baking sheet 1 1/2" apart. Press the top of each ball to flatten. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • 15 minutes before chilling time is up, place oven rack in center and preheat to 325°F.
  • Bake cookies 17 - 18 minutes, until just beginning to brown on top. Remove cookies to racks to cool completely.


  • In top of double boiler over hot but not boiling water, melt chocolate chips.
  • Spread approximately 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate on flat bottom of one cookie. Top with a second cookie. Allow to cool approximately 30 minutes to set.


The same amount of hazelnut or almond flour (240 g) may be substituted for the hazelnuts.