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Valentine’s Day Baci di Dama Cookies

5 from 1 vote

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Italian Valentine's Day Baci di Dama Cookies are the perfect red and pink dessert cookie! Made with hazelnuts for a colorful holiday recipe.
Looking down on pink and red Valentine's Day Baci di Dama Cookies on a counter with some red hearts.

Valentine’s Day Baci di Dama Cookies are classic Italian cookies dressed up for Valentine’s Day in pink and red!

Pink and red Valentine's Day Baci di Dama Cookies on a white plate.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

Baci di Dama, which translates to “Lady’s Kisses” in Italian, are delightful hazelnut cookies that are traditionally made in the shape of a kiss by sandwiching two small cookies together with a layer of chocolate.

These cookies are known for their rich, nutty flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture.

I have taken the delicious sweet treat, gave it some color, and used white to bring this love holiday to life.

Ingredients

Here are the ingredients used for these Valentine cookies. Full quantities and recipe details can be found in the recipe card below.

Hazelnuts – a classic Italian nut! You could also use almonds or walnuts if desired.

All Purpose Flour – we are just using a little bit to help hold everything together

Sugar

Unsalted Butter

Cornstarch

Vanilla Extract

Salt

Bright White Candy Melts– these cookies are traditionally filled with milk or dark chocolate but we are using white to keep the colors Christmas themed. Candy melts are what I prefer because they melt well and give you a bright white color option. You can also use white chocolate chips but they have a little yellow tint to them.

Pink Food Gel – food gel is better to use than food coloring because you get a more concentrated color with less liquid, which means it is less likely to affect the baking of the cookies

Red Food Gel

Looking down on pink and red Valentine's Day Baci di Dama Cookies on a counter with some red hearts.

Instruction Overview

First toast your nuts in a medium skillet over medium heat until fragrant.

When slightly cool, use your hands or a towel to rub most of the skins off of the nuts.

Add the nuts, flour, cornstarch, and salt to a food processor and blend until coarsely ground.

Add the butter and vanilla and process to combine.

Baci di Dama dough consistency after being made.

Split the dough into two medium bowls. Add one food color to each bowl and mix to combine.

Use a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop out the dough.

Pink and red dough being portioned and rolled.

Portion out the dough and roll into a ball, and then slightly flatten, and place on the baking sheet 1 inch apart.

Balls of red and pink dough on a baking sheet.

Bake at 350 until just turning brown on the bottom edges.

Let cool completely and then melt your candy melts.

Pair up a green and red cookie. Dunk the flat bottom edge of one into the candy melts, and stick to the other.

Lay the cookies on a counter or something flat and let cool to harden.

Modifications and Substitutions

Hazelnuts are a classic Italian nut. But you can also use almonds or walnuts if desired.

I use bright white candy melts to sandwich the cookies together and keep with the Christmas color theme. The more traditional way is using milk or dark chocolate which you can do if preferred. Regular white candy melts and white chocolate chips will give you a little yellow tint.

Kim’s Tips

Toasting the nuts is key to bring out their best flavor!

Food gel is recommended and not food coloring. The gel is much more concentrated which means you get better color with less moisture being added. If you add too much moisture with a food coloring, it can negatively affect the quality of your cookies.

I have found that the bottom of the cookies brown more when using parchment paper instead of a silicone baking mat. Use whichever you prefer.

After sandwiching together, the cookies might slightly slide while the candy melts are setting. This happens fast! So keep an eye out and adjust any that are sliding as needed.

FAQs

What does Baci di Dama mean?

Baci di Dama means “Lady’s kisses” in Italian. The name comes from the shape of the cookie looking like the lips of a woman.

Where did the Bacio di Dama come from?

Baci di Dama are from the Piedmont region of Italy in the 1800s as a way to use up hazelnuts.

How do you pronounce Baci di Dama?

Baci di Dama is pronounced as bah-chee dee dah-ma.

Pink and red Valentine's Day Baci di Dama Cookies on a small white plate.
Pin for pink and red Valentine's Day Baci di Dama Cookies with title.

More Italian Cookies

Italian Cookies

Looking down on pink and red Valentine's Day Baci di Dama Cookies on a counter with some red hearts.

Valentine’s Day Baci di Dama Cookies

Italian Valentine's Day Baci di Dama Cookies are the perfect red and pink dessert cookie! Made with hazelnuts for a colorful holiday recipe.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Christmas, Holiday, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Assembly TIme: 15 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 28 cookies
Calories: 73kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350℉ with racks in the upper middle and lower middle positions.
  • Toast your nuts by placing them in a skillet over medium heat, tossing regularly, until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
    1 cup hazelnuts
  • Let the nuts cool slightly and rub them to remove most of their skins. This can be done with your hands or putting them in a clean towel.
  • In a food processor, combine the toasted nuts, flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Process until the nuts are coarsely ground.
    2 ½ ounces all purpose flour, 1 ¾ ounces granulated sugar, 2 Tablespoons cornstarch, ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Add the butter and vanilla and process again to combine. The nuts will be closer to finely ground by now.
    ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Separate the dough into two bowls. Add one food coloring to each bowl and mix to combine (this is easiest when done with your hands).
    4 drops red food gel, 3 drops pink food gel
  • Use a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop out dough, and roll each one into a ball. Then slightly flatten. Repeat with all dough of both colors.
  • Place the dough balls on two parchment or silicone baking mat lined baking sheets, 1 inch apart.
  • Bake until the bottom edges of the cookies are starting to turn a light golden brown, approximately 15-17 minutes.
  • Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets.
  • Melt your candy melts as per package directions.
    ½ cup bright white candy melts
  • Take one red cookie and dunk the flat side into the candy melts, just enough to coat. Stick it against the flat side of a pink cookie. Place on a flat surface to harden. Keep an eye out for any that start sliding apart as they dry!
  • Repeat with the remaining cookies.
  • Once they are all set, store in an airtight container.

Notes

  1. Food gel will give you much brighter color than food coloring as it is more concentrated. Regular food coloring can be used however you will end up with lighter colors as adding too much of it will impact the consistency of the dough. I found that the pink can end up being very dark so it is better to start with a little less at first.
  2. I prefer bright white candy melts because they are much easier to work with and a great bright white color. Regular white candy melts and white chocolate chips will work but have a yellow tint to them.
I like to use silicone baking mats because they are reusable and I find the cookie bottoms do not brown too quickly compared to parchment paper.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie sandwich | Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 63IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.3mg
By on December 24th, 2023

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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