Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Ladies' Kisses (Baci Di Dama)

Ever since I bought this book, "The Cookie and Biscuit Bible" from Borders several months ago, one particular recipe, the Ladies' Kisses, from this book has always been on the back of my mind. However, I have never gotten around to make them until last Friday morning.



In order to write up this post, I did a little search on the internet, to find out more about these cookies. It is only at this moment that I learn that the Italian name for these cookies is Baci di Dama, which literally means Kisses from a Lady! Now then I understand that a fellow flickr member has actually given me the name in her comment, but I wasn't able to read the language she wrote ;')

These bite-sized Italian cookies were originally created in the Piedmont region of Italy, an area famous for its prized hazelnuts. 'According to a legend, they were created by a chef who worked for the Savoia Royal family and he wished to impress the King Vittorio Emanuele. The name is not clear but most probably it seems to represent a kiss between two lovers and the shape itself resembles lady lips.'

I was rather amused after reading this. It was exactly what my elder boy had deduced!! After he took a bite of this mini-sandwich cookie, he studied it, and told me he knew why they are called Ladies' Kisses. He pointed out that his half eaten cookie looked just like a person's pair of lips...I could still remember his sheepish grin at that moment :) I couldn't help but agreed with him.


I made these cookies with my younger boy as he didn't need to go to school that morning. The night before, he reminded me that if I were to bake anything, I'll have to inform him so that he could be involved right from the beginning. When he spotted me weighing the butter, he came along and 'scolded' me for not letting him know that I was about to start my baking session! I quickly assured him that I had not worked on anything yet as we needed time for the butter to soften. I guessed he was not very convinced, as he continued to hang around in the kitchen 'watching' after me ;)



We went on to measure out the ingredients together, with his help, we got flour, sugar all over the place. He helped me creamed the butter and sugar until it turned pale and fluffy. Then we added in the egg, followed by almond and flour until it reached this stage:


The cookie dough was very wet, no wonder it had to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours before you could work on it.


Here comes the fun part...rolling out the dough into small balls. Initially I used a measuring teaspoon to scoop out the dough thinking that it would help to ensure the cookies were of the same size. It didn't work as the dough was always stuck to the measuring spoon. In the end, we just made them by rough estimation. This part of our baking session brought back fond memories of how I used to roll those traditional 'Tang Yuan' during Yuanxiao when I was very young. Maybe I should try make some Tang Yuan for this coming Yuan Xiao, instead of relying on frozen ones?!


Cookie doughs waiting to go into the oven...notice the differences in sizes and shapes? In the midst of baking and cooling off, I told my boy that if the cookies were tasty, we could gave some to his Chinese Calligraphy teacher the next day, since it would be the last lesson for this year. Based on the look and fragrance from the cookies, he suggested that we should just wait till they become adults before giving cookies to their teacher...as by then, it would then really be the last lesson! He told me, they will only master the art after they have become adults. Trust a greedy kid to come up with these sort of excuses!


That was him, stealing cookies one after another from the rack!


I melted some chocolates and sandwiched the cookies together. It was tricky trying to find matching pairs of cookies. The cookies didn't look exactly like those in the cookbook...a more 'authentic' look should be something similar to these or these baked by other flickr members. Since this is the very first time I have tasted such cookies, I wasn't sure whether I have baked them the way they should be. The cookies were not the very crunchy type (unlike those Horlicks Doggies cookies), but I like the taste of ground almonds in them. The males in my family loved them dearly! Was it because of the name?!! They kept coming back for more. Luckily I reserved one small box for the teacher, as they were all gone by breakfast the next day!



The next time I were to make these again, I will use ground hazelnuts instead of almonds, and sandwich them with nutella instead :)

In case you are interested to try this out, here's the recipe:

Method:
(makes 20)

150g (10 tablespoons) butter, softened
115g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2.5ml (1/2 teaspoon) almond essence/extract (I replaced with vanilla)
115g (1 cup) ground almonds (almond powder)
175g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour

filling: 50g plain (semisweet) chocolate, melted

Ingredients:

  1. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in egg yolk, almond essence, followed by ground almonds and flour until evenly mixed.
  3. Chill for about 2 hours until firm.
  4. Prehear oven to 160 degC (325 degF). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Break off small pieces of dough and roll into balls with your hands, making 40 altogether.
  6. Place the balls on the baking sheets, spacing them out as they will spread in the oven.
  7. Bake for 20 mins or until golden. Let cool in the baking sheet for a few mins. Transfer to cooling rack to cool.
  8. Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Use it to sandwich the cookies in pairs, leave to set before serving.

48 comments:

  1. These really look cute and nice. I had recently bought similar ones from Takashimaya basement, where they sell each colorful ones at $1.20 if I remember correctly. But they are not exactly cookies but pastry like. I should try your recipe soon, think my kids will like them too.

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  2. these seem interesting and they look so cute!
    i shall try out this recipe soon.
    probably for my little picnic with my primary school classmate ;)
    thanks for sharing this recipe!

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  3. I love the name of these cookies. And with an adorable sous chef like this, of course they would be wonderful!

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  4. They are on my to bake soon list for Christmas. Maybe I should use nutella as you suggest. They look great! mmm!

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  5. Hi InspiredMumof2, Really, I have not seen these cookies here! Try baking them with your kids...I am sure they will have fun :)

    Hi Sweet-tooth, it's quite a simple and straight forward recipe. Do smack in more chocolate filling in between :D
    If you are using melted chocolate, you may leave it to set/thicken before using it, as mine kept spilling over the cookies as the chocolate was till 'runny', as such my chocolate filling was rather thin! Enjoy your picnic!

    Hi Pat, I must say it was really fun making these cookies with my boy. When he saw this blog posting, he requested that we should make some again soon :)

    Gigi, I had actually wanted to use nutella this round, as I was too lazy to melt the chocolate! but I realised that I have ran out of nutella :( I believe it will be easier to fill them with nutella as it is thicker, the melted chocolate was a little too runny for easy filling as I couldn't wait for it to set before using ;)

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  6. Looks so tempting. I also want to try this!

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  7. Lovely story behind the origin of the cookies and of course, lovely cookies u baked! kudos to yr little helper. :)

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  8. Hello HHB!!

    I just followed a link and found your site!
    How wonderful! Loved the look of the delicious cookies.... would want to try it out now...but need to buy oven first...
    (oven broke down).

    on another note..: what do you think if we sandwich the cookies with choc ganache? that would be thicker and creamier than melted chocs.

    Thank U for posting!! :D will try out your other recipes as soon as I find a good oven. :)

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  9. Hi Small small baker, do give it a try, hope you will like it =)

    Anh, thanks!

    Hi happybakes, thanks for visiting! Using choc ganache sounds like a wonderful ideal :)

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  10. I am thinking if this is more pastry-like than cookie-like, than maybe it is a nice little prezzie as we dun hv to worry abt 'lau-hong'?!

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  11. yes, i've seen different version of this type of cookies and i think i'm in love with them too! :) nutella is a greeat idea for the filling!

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  12. Dear Homebaker
    my name is Barbara ad I'm Italian. Congratulations for your blog and, of course, for your last recipe!!!
    I discovered your blog, simply because I was looking for a recipe for "Baci di Dama". Your Baci di Dama look like them of confectioner's shop...
    But now I am very curious: where are you from?
    Thank and compliments once again for your wonderful blog
    Barbara

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  13. Hi

    I've just made a batch of these cookies, I used ground hazelnut and nutella. Using the same amount of ingredients, I produced 29 pairs. So I think mine must be smaller, my dome are also higher, which makes it quite difficult to bite, must open my mouth big big,, hehe... but was worth the effort cos they are really yummy.

    I'll post it on my blog tomorrow, pls drop by to see if i've done it right.

    Thanks for sharing.

    rgds..

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  14. Hi Ida, thanks for your compliments :)

    Hi vb, hmmm, I really don't know...since it's the first time I have eaten these cookies...but I am quite certain that they have to be kept in air-tight containers to retain the crisp! If not they will sure 'lau-hong'!

    Hi Eliza, I've planned to use nutella as I was too lazy to melt chocolates ;)

    Hi Barbara, thanks for stumbling onto my blog =) I am from Singapore, and I'm a Chinese. I've been to Itay, and will certainly like to re-visit places like Florence, Venice and Rome!!! It's a lovely country :)

    Ning's Mummy, will sure check out your posting! but I've got no idea whether I am doing it right ;p

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  15. Hi there! I've been silently stalking your blog for quite a while now. hehe. I hope you don't mind, I love reading your blog! :D

    The biscuits look really yummy! I wonder if peanut butter would go well with it. mmm... :)

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  16. Hi HHB,

    Made a batch of these last nite following your recipe except I use hazelnut and melted chocolate.

    From the photos, your dough appears sticky but mine is not so, wonder if I measure correctly. Nonetheless, they taste good, they are almost gone now.

    I also use your recipe to make a batch of pooh and piglet cookie on Sunday, I’m not a very patient person and these really put me to the test, but the effort is worth it especially when my nephews squealed with delight when they saw the cookies. Wish I could show you my photos but my camera got lost when I was in the park couple of weeks ago, the camera is on my must buy urgently list.

    I've really learnt a lot from your blog, am toying with the idea of starting my own but I can see that it requires a lot of work and discipline to maintain it, wonder if I can handle, but any exchange should be two ways and right now I keep sponging off you.

    Sorry any lengthy one.

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  17. Hi Heidi, I am not too sure about using peanut butter, as the dough is made with ground almond. I am also not too clear about the background of these cookies, as such, I think it is best to stick to melted chocoalte or nutella. On the other hand, there's no really no hard if you want to try and experiment with it :)

    Hi ek, you know what?!!! It is only after reading you comment that I recalled and realised that I didn't add in the egg yolk!!!!! Can you imagine?! No wonder the dough was so soft & sticky! I bet yours made with hazelnuts must taste really good!

    The pooh cutters are quite tricky to use! but once you get the hang of it, it became easier. I am sure you'll find it much easier when you make your 2nd batch.

    Yes, blogging can take up quite a fair bit of time. You may want to try flickr? All you need to do is to share your photos, and a simple description, you can also share your recipes too.

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  18. hello! yum those look really delicious :D may i know if there are any substitute for ground almonds? thank you!

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  19. Hi Anonymous, you may try with ground hazelnuts instead. Hope this helps :)

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  20. Hi

    May i chk how long can i chilled and keep the dought before using it ( 2 or 3 days?) as I plan to make it in advance. Hopwe too hear from u soon =D

    Rgds
    Philia

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  21. Hi Philia, I checked the recipe book, it is not stated how many days you can chill the dough before using. I'm sorry, I am afraid I can't comment on this.

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  22. Hi Happy Homebaker!

    I'm searching for cookie recipes to give to my boss and colleagues as farewell. This looks good! Just wanna ask is this the melt-in-your-mouth type? Can I make it smaller or is this already bite-size? Wanna estimate the amount I need. :)

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  23. Hi Aimei, I am afraid these cookies are not the melt-in-your-mouth type. I guess you can make it smaller, mine were not really bite size. They were slighly bigger than a 50cent coin. Hope this helps :)

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  24. Thanks homebaker! I thought melt-in-your mouth type would be better for packaging to be give away. :) But this looks yummy! Ok I'll KIV this. :)

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  25. Hihi

    I would like to thank you for sharing this receipe, its a keeper!!
    I attempted with ground hazelnut and it tastes great!

    Thank you once again!!

    Cheers
    Philia

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  26. Can I check with you where can I get almond powder?
    Very keen to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing it =)

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  27. Hi, you can get the almond powder from bakery supply store such as Phoon Huat...which is cheaper. Another brand, "Bake King" are also available at the baking supply section of most cold storage and ntuc, but it's slightly more expensive.

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  28. hi!

    i baked a batch of these but they turn out to be rather cakey inside. i wonder why ): also, my cookies dont expand much when i bake them, so they arent very crispy.

    do you know why?
    thanks! (:

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  29. Hi Piggy, sorry to hear that your cookies didnt turn out well. I am not sure what went wrong, but I think you could have under bake it, or your oven temperature is not right?

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  30. Dear Happy Homebaker,

    Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. I tried it using ground hazelnut and nutella, and the cookies tasted so good! People love it - and they called them burgers... haha! Even without the nutella, they're great... like some kind of nutty sugee cookies.

    To make them into even sizes, I mold them using measuring spoon (1 tsp). Yes it's sticky, so I just put a piece of plastic on the spoon and the dough would come off easily. I managed to get about 30+ complete 'burgers' : )

    Thanks again for your generosity. Wishing you and your family a happy and prosperous lunar new year!

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  31. Hi Burger, glad to hear that your cookies turn out so well :)
    Thanks for sharing your tip on measuring the dough with measuring spoong. I have also recently learned this trick and use it for making pineapple tarts :)

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  32. Hi, i wanna ask you something. Exactly how much is a cup of flour? I heard from some website that it is like 250g. This is my second year for home econs and they never ever mentioned it. So is it 250g? Or about 125g ?

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  33. Oh yah and one more thing. I think my oven has a problem, the heat is like not correct or alright all the time! And for you, the heat comes out from which part of the oven? Is it the top, the bottom or both? I'm currently using both and it gets burnt easily.

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  34. Hi Dion, you can refer to this site (http://www.joyofbaking.com/flour.html) for the measurement of flour; or you can also refer to this site: http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/cookingconversions.asp?Action=find

    The heating element of my oven is located on the top, I use an oven thermometer to check the temperature as my oven temperature is not accurate too.

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  35. Ok thanks! Thank you. And i'm thinking of making the No Bake Oreo Cheesecake to. Do you need the white thing in the middle for the base?

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  36. Hi Dion, I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you mean by 'the white thing for the base'??

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  37. hi homebaker, im just wondering if i can replace the plain flour by all purpose flour?

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  38. Hi Anonymous, yes you can. Plain flour is the same as all purpose flour, they refer to the same thing :)

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  39. Hi happy baker,

    I tried this recipe yesterday, but i changed increase everything by 1.5times, and i used fine sugar instead of caster sugar.
    For the egg yolk, it was 2 small egg yolks. I did not use any nuts. However, my cookies are not crunchy, and they're a lil' soft...

    is there a reason for the softness of cookies?

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  40. Hi Stacey, since you didnt use any almond, did you replace the ground almond with equal amount of flour? I'm sorry, I'm not sure what has caused the cookies to turn soft?

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  41. i tried it with grd hazelnut N nutella and it really turn out delicious and good to look at! kudos to ur recipe ;)

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  42. http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs126.snc1/5412_100954012319_500117319_2037612_5564386_n.jpg

    =)

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  43. I also have the The Cookie and Biscuit Bible". This is really a very useful book contains all types of recipes
    ccna exam questions
    .

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  44. HeHe! i am here. do you think that this is easy to make?
    Student(the cheesecake one. Haha!)

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  45. Hi, yes, this is quite easy to make.

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  46. i will try when i have time :) i ask my mother's sister help me find a easy cookie recipe already. she sometimes also bake cookies and cake one. Thanks for you help anyway. i have learnt a lot.
    Student

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  47. This recipe is very easy and it is delicious

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