Photo by Stephanie Bourgeois

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup (1 stick plus 2 1/2 tablespoons) butter, soft but not room temperature
  • 1 cup flour
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate

This recipe contains: Nuts, Wheat

RECIPE

Baci di Dama

Joe Cicala

Le Virtù, Philadelphia

Italian for “lady’s kisses,” baci di dama consist of a layer of dark chocolate sandwiched between two nut flour–based cookies.

Yield: about 20 cookies

Method:

In a food processor, pulse the almonds and sugar to a fine powder. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the butter and flour with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the almond mixture, orange zest, vanilla, and salt. Mix with your hands until the dough holds together. Tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut into 2 halves. Roll out each half to a 1/2-inch thick rope, as if you were preparing gnocchi. Cut the ropes into 1-inch pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets. (You should have about 40 pieces.) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 320ºF while the cookies refrigerate.

Place the cookie sheets in the oven and bake until the cookie bottoms are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Place the chopped chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat and melt slowly. Once the chocolate is melted, remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Transfer the melted chocolate to a pastry bag fitted with a small tip. Pipe the chocolate onto the flat sides of half the cookies. Gently press the other cookie halves onto the chocolate-topped halves. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.