Baci di Dama (Lady’s Kisses) from Julien Wagner
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These sandy sandwich cookies (from Julien Wagner of Seven Hills Baking Company) are the pure essence of toasted almond. The flavor that almond extract in a bottle wishes it could be when it grows up.

 

And if you have a scale, these come together incredibly fast. A fun cookie project with kids (of all ages) because you get to roll the dough between your hands into teensy spheres, then glue the cookies together with your favorite chocolate.

 

Julien likes “a 72% chocolate. In this case its Guittard Onyx-72 but semisweet chocolate chips are fine if that’s what’s around.” (We used these.)

 

Another pro tip: You will need to toast almonds but “it can be difficult to see when they’re toasted because of the skin. I usually toast between 375-400 degrees for 5-6 minutes but I ultimately rely on my nose to tell me when they’re done. When they’re cooling you should hear a crackling sound and when totally cool should have a nice snappy crunch.” Check our little video to hear the crackle!

 

These are easy to make ahead. Just freeze the rolled dough balls until you’re ready to bake. Julien “used to make these by the hundreds and always froze them. They’re small enough that they can almost go directly in the oven. They’ll thaw a little while they get arranged on the sheet pan. As long as they are cold going into the oven. Otherwise they will spread too much in the oven.”

BACI DI DAMA (LADY’S KISSES) FROM JULIEN WAGNER

Prep Time

about 1 hour, plus chilling time

BAKE Time

15 minutes

Makes

3 dozen

Ingredients​

  • 113g. raw skin-on almonds (well toasted and cooled completely, see headnote)
  • 1 cup (4 oz/113g.) all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick (4 oz/113g.) unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
  • 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp (4oz/113g.) granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp (1g.) salt
  • 3 ounces chocolate (melted, for sandwiching cookies together)

Method​

Note: Chill butter, toasted almonds and flour thoroughly for best results. Also, make sure your food processor is sparkling clean as cookie dough can pick up odors from savory food.

 

  1. Pulse the almonds, flour and salt in a food processor until the mixture is consistency of wet sand.
  2. Add sugar and continue to pulse until well combined.
  3. Add chilled butter cubes and pulse until mixture comes together. The motor sound will deepen and the mixture will just start to clump around blade (see photo)
  4. Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  5. Pinch off teaspoonfuls of dough. If you have a scale,portion dough balls to 6 grams each. (Your cookies will be more uniform if you weigh the dough, but you can eyeball if you don’t have one.)
  6. Roll dough into spheres.
  7. Refrigerate dough balls until ready to bake (at least 10-15 minutes).
  8. Arrange 24 dough balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Bake at 325 degrees F (300F in a convection oven) for approximately 15 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.
  10. Cookies will spread slightly and should still be slightly domed. They should have some cracks in the surface and just slightly browned.
  11. Cool completely.
  12. While cookies are cooling, melt chocolate in a double boiler.
  13. Match each cookie with another that is equal in size and shape.
  14. Pipe or spoon the chocolate on the flat side of one cookie and gently sandwich the chocolate using its “twin”.
  15. Allow chocolate to set before serving.