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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lady's Kisses (Baci Di Dame)

 These little kisses ~baci~ are an almond and chocolate sandwich cookie from Piemonte, Italy and will most definitely be a new addition to my Italian Cookie Tray! This recipe is from Sweet Maria's Italian Desserts a cookbook Chris got me for our anniversary for my Kindle, I love love love having cookbooks on my Kindle because I can pull up the recipe right there in my kitchen as I cook.
Buy this cookbook HERE!
After I made these cookies I thought how much they reminded me of Pepperidge Farm's Milano Cookies, so much so in fact that they could be where Pepperidge Farm got their inspiration : ) And let's just say that I have a bit of a soft spot for Milano cookies. They were my Dad's way of bonding with me after he had feared he had spent too much time out with his girlfriend. He would always bring home a box of Pepperidge Farm's Milano Cookies and we could share them together as we watched some late night HBO together. And even though my family was rather dysfunctional I am thankful for and choose to focus on the sweet times we had : )
 “I've never tried to block out the memories of the past, even though some are painful. I don't understand people who hide from their past. Everything you live through helps to make you the person you are now.” Sophia Loren
Could Baci Di Dame be the inspiration for these?
Sweet Maria's Baci Di Dame
Ingredients (30 sandwich cookies)
1/2 pound butter softened (2 sticks)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
11/2 cups all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup almonds (ground fine) or 3/4 cups almond meal
1 tablespoon almond paste *(I do not use this see my homemade version below)
 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 and place a parchment onto 2 large cookies sheets.
 In an electric mixer cream butter and sugar light and fluffy.
Add egg and almond extract and mix well.
On low speed gradually add flour and salt. Mix just until blended.
Place in fridge until firm. Then place in a pastry bag without a tip, coupler only. Or snip a 1/4-inch line diagonally across the bottom corner of a Ziploc bag.
Pipe onto a cookie sheet with the pastry bag *( 2/3 inch circles).
Bake 8-10 minutes (mine take more like 12-15 minutes) until edges just begin to brown. If you baking both pans at once rotate have way through.
In a food processor or blender place the around almond and paste or homemade (see below) and blend until finely ground together, set aside.
Melt the chocolate, I use a microwave for 1 minute, stir and then 10 second intervals until melted and smooth. Or I place the chocolate chips in a glass bowl and place on top of the burner that releases the oven heat while the oven preheats and the cookies are baking, this melts them perfectly!
Spread the chocolate onto  2 cookies, dip one cookie into the almonds and sandwich together I found that I could do 3-4 cookies at a time (6-8 individual) without the chocolate hardening.
*This recipe says it makes 30 sandwich cookies.The first time I only made half that but then I made smaller circles of dough and did 2/3 inch rather than 1 inch circles like the recipe had suggested.

* Homemade Almond Paste From Almond Meal (Marzipan)
2 1/4 cups almond meal
11/2 cups powdered sugar
1 egg white
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
pinch salt
Ground together in a food processor
Divide into 1/4 cup portions and refrigerate for 1 month or freeze for 3.
This recipe is my adaption of Taste Of Home's recipe using almond meal instead of whole almonds.

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