Last night H came home looking very dejected than I’ve ever seen him in a very long time. And H isn’t an emotional person, so one look on his face I knew something really bad had happened. As it turned out, they managed to get everyone’s passport except mine. Surprise, surprise, right? Seeing him like that, how could I be sad or angry myself? There isn’t anything else anyone can do. This is just how it is.
So today while everyone were busy getting ready to get to the airport, I decided to go through my kitchen to-do list and make these little kisses cookies, Baci di Dama. Baci means kisses in Italian (like beijos in Portuguese, bisous in french) and Dama is la dame. My wish is that these little kisses can kiss our pains and disappointment away.
It’s not difficult and though my food processor couldn’t grind the hazelnuts as fine as coarse polenta, they still turned out great. One thing though, I had difficulties in shaping them into a round log, so I did a square log (about 2x2cm). It didn’t matter, because they eventually get shaped into balls anyway, weighing 5g each.
BACI DI DAMA
(from David Lebovitz)
yield 45 cookies
1 1/4 cups (140g) hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
1 cup (140g) rice flour (or all-purpose flour)
3 1/2 oz (100g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
pinch of salt
2 oz (55g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- Put the hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse them until very fine; they should be the consistency of coarse polenta.
- Transfer the ground nuts to a bowl and add the rice flour (if using all-purpose flour, sift it in). Cut the butter into pieces then add the butter, sugar, and salt to the dry ingredients. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together until the butter is dispersed and completely incorporated. The dough should be very smooth and hold together. If not, knead it until it does.
- Divide the dough into three equal pieces and roll each piece until it’s 3/4-inch (2cm) round. Try to get them as smooth as possible, with no cracks. If the dough is too long to work with as you roll them out, you can cut the dough at the midway point and work with it in batches.
- Chill the dough logs until firm (2-3 hours, or on 15 mins on freezer) on a small baking sheet or dinner plate lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 160C (375 F) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Working with one length of dough at a time, keeping the others in the refrigerator or freezer, cut off equal-sized pieces using a knife or pastry cutter. The ideal is 5 grams each, if working with a scale. The fastest way to do it is to cut one to the right weight, then hold that one alongside the logs and use it as a template to cut the others. Once you’ve cut a length of dough, roll the pieces into nice little balls and place them on the baking sheet, slightly spaced apart.
- Continue cutting the dough and rolling it into little balls. Bake the cookies for 10 to 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets in the oven midway during cooking, until the tops are lightly golden brown. Let the cookies cool completely.
- In a clean, dry bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate until smooth. Put a chocolate chip-sized dollop of chocolate on the bottom of one cookie and take another cookie, and sandwich the two halves together.
Aren’t they the cutest? I feel much better already.
Save travel everyone. Have an extra champagne for me!