Tuesday, January 11, 2022

A Cookie Like A Kiss, Baci di Dama courtesy Of Jamie Schlers

I grew up in a cookie-centric household. My mom was no baker that's for sure. Her butter cookies resembled skeets, and  you just wanted to yell "pull" every time she served them. When you're a kid and NO ONE will trade you ANYTHING for your homemade cookies at lunch, you know there's a problem. So my mom was a cookie buyer, not a cookie baker. My dad would swing buy Mothers Cookies Bakery factory store and bring back the day-old stuff for us, especially these.

So as a kid, cookies weren't something that was usually baked at home as NO ONE wanted Fran in the kitchen working her cookie magic.

Over the years I started baking cookies occasionally, then when I started consulting for the Cocoa Planet Cafe everything had to be gluten-free since the entire restaurant was gluten-free. I learned to translate most things into what they needed from flour blends that I developed. I made everything from lady fingers to madeleines all of them gluten free, but in all my cookie baking I'd never run across Baci di Dama.

The only Italian cookies we ever got at my house were Stella'Oro and those were good basic Italian cookies,  S shaped  "breakfast treat" biscuits that were generally dunked in espresso, nothing fancy, and certainly no Baci di Dama.

 When my friend Jamie Schler, extraordinary cook book author, and Chinon hotelier, over at @lifesafeast posted a recipe and pictures of these delectable Italian cookies, I was all..."How did I never get these before!" I immediately wanted to bake some. Jamie provided the recipe and just in case you missed it I thought I'd post it here, since they were so easy to make, and they looked so good for their few minutes of existence before everyone fell on them and they were gone.

Jamies instructions provided for using hazelnuts and almonds and grinding them into  a flour, however I used hazelnut flour and almond flour that I had on hand so the whole process was super easy.

 Baci Di Dama  (Lady's Kiss) Cookies

Here's  What You Need: 

For The Cookies:

10 Tbs  (150 grams) unsalted butter softened to room temperture

1/2 cup  (100 grams ) sugar 

1 large egg yolk

2 oz (50 grams) almond flour or finely ground almonds

2 oz (50 grams) hazelnut flour or finely ground hazelnuts

1 and 1/4 cup  (175 grams) all purpose flour

1 tsp vanilla

For Chocolate Ganache Filling :

3/4 cup ( 100 grams)  Dark chocolate coarsely chopped .Jamie recommends Lindt  Dessert or Lindt Excellence70% (I used a dark chocolate infused with mandarin orange)

1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream


What to Do:

Cream the softened butter together with the sugar until it's light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg yolk and the almond and hazelnut flours.

Beat in the all purpose flour and vanilla until everything is well incorporated.

Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and, working very quickly, knead the dough just until you have a smooth, homogeneous ball of dough, flouring the work surface & your hands as needed. This dough contains a high quantity of butter so the more it is worked (with warm hands) the softer and stickier it becomes. 

Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap & place in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours or overnight. 

When the dough has been chilled & you are ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C). 

Remove the chilled, firm dough from the refrigerator and from the plastic & place on a lightly floured work surface.

Cut into 4 pieces (which are easier to work with) and, working one piece at a time & as quickly as possible to keep the buttery dough from softening too much, press & roll out the dough
into a long ¾-inch (2 cm) thick snake, ends squared. 

Using a pastry cutter or sharp knife, slice the long log or snake into even ½-inch (1 cm) wide pieces or slightly larger. Again working very quickly, roll each piece into a ball, pressing together if the dough splits,

Place on a cookie sheet, leaving a little space between each ball for rising. Bake the trays of balls in the preheated oven for no longer than 20 minutes or until cooked through & slightly golden.

Remove from the oven & allow to cool completely before making the ganache filling & sandwiching the cookie domes together with the ganache. 

Make your ganache filling:

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium-sized heatproof Pyrex bowl. 

Bring the heavy cream to a boil. 

Pour it over the chopped chocolate & allow to sit, stirring, until the chocolate is completely melted and the ganache is perfectly smooth.

 Allow the ganache to sit at room temperature until it reaches the desired consistency: to sandwich the Baci di Dama, the ganache needs to be quite thick & firm so it pipes out without running & you can sandwich the two domes of cookie halves together without making a runny mess. 

Or store the cookie pieces in a tin while the ganache chills overnight in the fridge, simply taking the ganache out of the cold a bit before piping & sandwiching the two halves of the cookies together.100 grams) dark chocolate coarsely chopped.

Filling Those Cookies:

Fill a pastry bag with a tip (about ¼ to ½ -inch wide hole). Pair up matching (in size) cookie halves then pipe a dot of ganache on the bottom halves of all the pairs. 

Gently press the other cookie half onto the ganache. 

Place all the Baci di Dama on a tray or rack to allow the ganache to firm up. These cookies get even better when stored in a metal tin overnight as the cookie goes from crumbly to
perfectly tender.

 Now, put on some coffee, or tea and......enjoy!

Italians love these cookies and even have them for breakfast sometimes. Yes, they do and you can't tell me otherwise, because that's what I'm telling my family.

These are cookies you're going to want to be making again and again. Thanks to Jamie and her amazing recipes and this Orange Appeal , Isolation Baking

and her #StirCrazyPodcast

 Let's get her a
on Twitter!

Next on the blog, Jamies flipped the switch on my baking agenda , and now I'm thinking of making and sharing a few traditional Italian treats that can be part of your breakfast or tea time. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori

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