Sandwiched with dark chocolate, these cookies are the ideal accompaniment for your cup of coffee or tea.
Italian bakeries are full of a great variety of cookies. Many are regional specialties, but some are unique to that particular bakery. In Australia, I needed to learn to bake my own Italian cookies because I don’t just have an Italian bakery down the road. These Espresso Biscotti are favourites as are my pizzelle. Now these Hazelnut Cookies are bound to become regulars!
About these Hazelnut Cookies sandwiched with Chocolate.
Originally from the region of Piedmont, these cookies are known in Italy as Baci di Dama which translates to Lady’s Kisses. The combination of hazelnuts and chocolate is renowned in Piedmont because of the great export of Nutella. You know how much you love that classic combination and this Hazelnut Cookie sandwiched with Chocolate is no exception – you a going to love it too!
Just 6 ingredients are needed for this recipe!
That’s right! And the ingredients are quite basic.
You will need:
- Ground Hazelnuts
- Dark Chocolate
Important tips about the ingredients.
While the ingredients are quite simple, there are two ingredients that need to be the best quality you can afford.
Firstly, be sure to buy fresh ground hazelnuts (also known as hazelnut meal). Failing that, purchase whole hazelnuts, roast for 10-15 minutes, rub the skins off and grind to a fine meal with a spoonful of sugar.
The second ingredient is the chocolate. Purchase good dark chocolate that is around 70% cocoa. You’ll only need a small amount of chocolate, but it will make all the difference. Keep in mind that the cookies are sweet and need dark chocolate to balance the flavours.
How to make these traditional Italian cookies.
Traditionally this recipe is made by using equal weight quantities of butter, sugar, ground hazelnuts and flour. I have reworked the recipe so that you can use cup measurements just to make it a little easier. Basically, this is a nutty shortbread cookie and very simple to make.
- Beat together butter and sugar.
- Mix in ground hazelnuts, flour and salt.
- Wrap dough in plastic and chill until firm.
- Roll small balls of dough and bake.
- When cool sandwich with dark chocolate.
How to easily temper chocolate so that it sets better.
When you buy chocolate in the supermarket it has already been tempered and is shiny and has a good snap. Once melted the chocolate is no longer tempered. If you use compound chocolate (which I don’t suggest because it’s just not as nice) you won’t have to think about this. However if you would like the chocolate to set better, this is a simple tempering technique.
- Melt 2/3 of the chopped chocolate either in a double boiler or a microwave.
- Don’t make it too hot – just melt it gently.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/3 of the chopped chocolate.
- You may need to put it back on the heat just to finish melting it but only use a very low temperature.
Now your chocolate is tempered and should set well. This is a really basic method that I learnt at a chocolate class and it works well.
The trick on how to not end up a chocolatey mess!
Sandwiching two little cookies with chocolate should be easy, shouldn’t it? Sure, but if the chocolate doesn’t set quickly you could end up in a chocolatey mess. Instead, once sandwiched with chocolate, stand the cookies on a gridded cooling rack. The grids on the cooling rack will keep the cookies from toppling over. You may have another ingenious idea to support the cookies. Allow the chocolate to set before storing in an airtight container.
Can these Hazelnut cookies be frozen?
Absolutely! Freeze in an airtight, sealed container for 1 month. To defrost, remove the container from the freezer and allow defrost in the refrigerator overnight or until defrosted. This is the best way to avoid condensation on the cookies which will make them soft.
You will find that these Hazelnut Cookies sandwiched with Chocolate are sure to become a firm favourite. This is one Italian cookie that you won’t easily forget!
Remember to click on ‘US Customary’ in the recipe card for measurement conversions.
This updated recipe was first published here on Marcellina in Cucina on 5 October 2010.
Do you want more Italian Cookie recipes? Have a look at these!
Savoiardi – also known as ladyfingers and used for tiramisu
Crostoli – fried crunchy pastries
Pipparelli – similar to biscotti flavoured with cinnamon, cloves and black pepper
Chewy Amaretti Cookies from It’s Not Complicated Recipes
Lemon Knot Cookies from Proud Italian Cook
Italian Ricotta Cookies from Life Love and Sugar
DID YOU LIKE THIS RECIPE?
Hazelnut Cookies filled with Chocolate
- 200 g butter softened
- 1 cup sugar castor or superfine
- 2 cups ground hazelnuts
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 100 g 70% cocoa dark chocolate broken
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F. Line two large baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth.
- With the mixer on low speed incorporate the ground hazelnuts and flour and salt. Be sure that the mixture is well combined by scraping the bowl with a spatula getting right to the bottom. Mix again if necessary.
- Using a spatula scrap the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, press into a flattened ball. Wrap well with plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours or even overnight.
- Divide the disc into four equal portions. Roll each portion into a 22cm/9inch log. Cut the log into 25 even slices. Roll each into balls. Each ball will be approximately the size of a hazelnut in the shell.
- Arrange on prepared baking trays, leaving a little room between each.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until pale golden.
- Remove from the oven. Cool for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.
- Roughly divide chopped chocolate ⅔ and ⅓
- Melt ⅔ of the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water ( or microwave on low power stirring occasionally until melted).
- Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ⅓ until melted. This will easily temper the chocolate so that it sets well.
- When the biscuits are cool, use the chocolate to sandwich them together.