Have you ever tasted baci de dama? These mini Italian chocolate filled sandwich cookies are made with chocolate and vanilla. One or two of these Italian cookies with chocolate in the middle will definitely put a smile on your face. The buttery vanilla cookies are sandwiched together with chocolate so you can enjoy both flavors in every bite. This version of these chocolate filled cookies is made without hazelnuts.
Although they do feature in some baci di dama recipes, these cookies are made without hazelnuts. Instead they have almond flour for a hint of almond flavour but you can sub ground hazelnuts if you prefer.
Ingredients for Baci di Dama Cookies
These mini Italian chocolate filled sandwich cookies don’t require a lot of ingredients. You will need butter, sugar, vanilla, almond flour, all-purpose flour, and chocolate chips.
Margarine could take the place of butter while the vanilla can be swapped for hazelnut, almond or another favourite flavouring. It’s important to use well chilled butter because this, as well as the chilling time in the freezer, means the cookies won’t spread out during cooking which would ruin the shape.
Hazelnut flour would work in place of the almond flour (basically just finely ground nuts). You could also use dark or white chocolate chips although I love how semisweet ones taste in the finished chocolate filled cookies. If you’re going to use a sweet type of chocolate such as white or milk chocolate, you might need to reduce the amount of sugar, else the overall taste might be too sweet.
How to Make Italian Cookies with Chocolate in the Middle
You’ll love how easy these mini Italian chocolate filled sandwich cookies are to make. First you will cream some of the butter with the sugar for a few minutes. Next you can mix in the vanilla and then the two kinds of flour.
Knead the resulting dough on a floured work surface until it’s quite firm and tough. Divide the dough into teaspoon-sized balls and freeze until hard. Bake until golden then let them cool.
Melt the rest of the butter with the chocolate chips and then use this chocolate filling to stick two of the cookies together. Repeat with the remainder of the melted mixture and cookies to finish the chocolate filled cookies.
What ‘Baci di Dama Means in English
‘Baci’ means kiss while ‘dama’ means lady in Italian, so these little chocolate filled cookies made without hazelnuts are literally called ‘lady’s kisses’ which probably refers to how the cookies are sandwiched together around the chocolate filling, like lips coming together for a kiss!
You can find Italian cookies with chocolate in the middle from pretty much any bakery in Italy. Although hazelnuts are used more often than not, they’re sometimes made without hazelnuts and there are several varieties to choose from.
The cookies originate from Tortona, a town in Piedmont, Northern Italy. They’ve been around since the 1800s and were likely created to make use of all the hazelnuts that are local to Piedmont. You might also enjoy this canestrelli cookies recipe – they’re another Italian delicacy. Oh, and I bet you’ll also love these amaretti cookies!
Baci di Dama FAQs
Although one or two of these mini Italian chocolate filled sandwich cookies pairs wonderfully with an espresso or strong coffee at breakfast, and they’re also great gifts, you might have some left over.
These chocolate filled cookies will keep for up to a week in a sealed container somewhere cool. If you prefer to freeze them, they will be fine in the freezer (assembled) for a month. Another option is to shape the dough into balls and freeze those until you want to thaw them out and proceed with the recipe.
Whether you’re following the recipe using almond flour or you are subbing hazelnut flour (or some of each) you might be wondering what kind to use.
Look for blanched almond flour. This means the outer almond skins are removed before they’re ground up. It’s light in colour. The other type is unblanched almond flour and this is made by grinding the almonds without peeling the outer skins off first. This type is coarser in texture and darker in colour. I recommend the unblanched kind for a lighter, more delicate result from your baking.
Baci di Dama Mini Italian Chocolate Filled Sandwich Cookies Recipe
Baci di Dama Mini Italian Chocolate Filled Sandwich Cookies
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Grease or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- With an electric mixer, cream 1/2 cup butter and sugar and light and fluffy (approx. 2 or 3 minutes).
- Add vanilla and beat until mixed.
- Add almond flour and all purpose flour to butter mixture and beat until a dough begins to form.
- Lightly flour clean counter with almond flour. Pour dough onto counter and knead until a tough dough forms (you may need to add additional flour as kneading).
- Using a teaspoon, scoop dough and roll into balls. Place on cookie sheet and freeze until dough is hard (15 to 20 minutes).
- Remove from freezer and bake 12to 15 minutes, until cookies are domed and lightly browned.
- Place cookies onto cooling rack and allow to cool completely before adding chocolate.
- Add chocolate chips and remaining butter into a small microwavable bowl. Microwave on 20 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
- Spoon small amount of chocolate on cookie and place second cookie on top. Repeat with remaining cookies.
- freeze well
- Can substitute milk chocolate chips for semisweet. I recommend cutting down sugar to 1/2 cup if using milk chocolate to cut down on sweetness.
- Can substitute hazelnut flour for almond flour.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Baci di dama are mini Italian chocolate sandwich cookies. This recipe for Italian cookies with chocolate in the middle is made without hazelnuts. Instead they boast the rich flavours of almonds and vanilla and pair perfectly with a morning or after-dinner espresso!