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Chocolate Kisses

Baci di Cioccolato

(Makes about 4 dozen)
Chocolate Kisses - Baci di Cioccolato
Chocolate Kisses - Baci di Cioccolato
Chocolate filled sandwich cookies are a favorite in Verona, the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.  They are made in a variety of combinations and are sometimes referred to as "Juliet's kisses."  These bite-size chocolate kisses can also be made with ground hazelnuts instead of almonds and filled with Nutella.

1-2/3 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted almonds
1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup heavy cream
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons rum, grappa, Kahlua, or another liqueur


In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside.

With an electric mixer, combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the vanilla.  Add the almonds and beat to blend in.  Add the flour mixture in thirds, beating after each addition until a smooth dough forms.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Put the granulated sugar in a small bowl.

With your hands, roll the dough into 3/4-inch balls.  Roll each ball in the granulated sugar to coat it.  Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets about 1-inch apart.  Gently press the balls to flatten them slightly.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until firm but not browned.  Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes.  Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

To make the filling:
Heat the heavy cream to a simmer.  Add the chopped chocolate and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Add the liqueur of your choice.  Stir until the mixture is thick and smooth.  If the mixture it too thin to spread, refrigerate it until slightly thickened.

Spread a small amount of the filling on the bottom of one cookie.  Place another cookie bottom side down on the filling and press together.  Place the cookies on a wire rack until the filling is set.  Repeat with the remaining cookies and filling.  Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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The iconic Italian truffle known as Baci is a confection filled with gianduja, a blend of chocolate and hazelnuts, that comes wrapped in silver foil with blue print.  Still made in the heart of Perugia in Umbria, from its original recipe, Baci (which means "kisses") were created by Luisa Spagnoli in 11922 as a treat for someone she loved.
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Pizzelle are known as ferratelle in the Lazio region of Italy. In Molise they may be called ferratelle, cancelle, or pizzelle. The cookie dough or batter is put into a pizzelle iron. The iron stamps a snowflake pattern onto both sides of the thin golden-brown cookie, which has a crisp texture once it is cooled.
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