BACI DI DAMA (use Pecans)

Baci di Dama
Prep Time
1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
1 hr 55 mins

Baci di Dama or Lady Kisses are authentic Italian treats prepared with almonds or hazelnuts shaped as lips united by chocolate.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean, Vegetarian
Servings: 40 cookies
Author: Vera Abitbol
Ingredients
For the cookies
1½ cup hazelnuts
1½ cup icing sugar
1½ cup flour , sifted
1 cup unsalted butter (soft)
1 egg yolk
For the gianduja spread
½ cup icing sugar
½ cup hazelnuts , roasted
3 oz. dark chocolate , chopped
3 oz. milk chocolate , chopped
¼ cup whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Instructions
Cookies
Soak the nuts in a large amount of hot water. Leave them in water for 1 hour.
Drain and remove the thin brown skin.
Preheat oven to 350 F and bake the nuts on the center rack.
Roast a few minutes, stirring occasionally. They should not brown.
Wait until they cool and grind to reduce to fine powder.
In the food processor bowl, combine the sugar and butter, cut into cubes.
Add the hazelnut powder and flour.
Work the dough for a minute.
Finally, stir in the egg yolk and knead the dough for a minute, until smooth and blended.
Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Shape dough into balls of about ½ oz each.
Let stand in refrigerator 30 minutes.
Preheat convection oven to 320 F.
Place the dough balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving spacing between them.
Bake on center rack for 10 minutes. Cookies must be light in color.
Drop them gently on a cooling rack and cool completely.
Gianduja spread
Finely chop the hazelnuts in a food processor.
Add the icing sugar and mix until obtaining a soft dough.
Add both chocolates and mix again until completely blended.
Finally add the milk slowly while mixing.
Bring water to a boil in a heavy saucepan.
Transfer mixture in a metal bowl and place bowl in the saucepan.
Add butter and heat in a water bath for 15 minutes, until the butter and chocolate have melted.
Put the spread in the fridge to solidify slightly.
Assembly
Using a pastry bag, a syringe or a spoon, spread gianduja on the flat side of one cookie and top with another cookie. Let cool.
The gianduja spread can be stored in an airtight glass jar in the fridge.
Baci di dama can be stored in a sealed metal box at room temperature.