Baci di Dama, one of the most delicious biscuits in Italy, are typical from Piemonte in the north of Italy. Now you can find them pretty much everywhere. Desserts made with chocolate and hazelnuts are very common in Italy and these biscuits are made with skinless roasted hazelnuts that are powdered. Then you stick 2 biscuits together with chocolate ganache and you've got ladie's kisses!. Normally I do half the recipe with cocoa powder added to the dough so I get both white and brown versions. I love filling cellowrap bags with them and offering them as Christmas gifts. —Maria Teresa Jorge
Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie or in the microwave. Heat the cream and ad to the melted chocolate and mix with a spatula until well incorporated and smooth. Let cool completely until it thickens again (about 1 hour).
In a bowl sift together the flour and a good pinch of salt.
In another bowl sift the cocoa powder.
In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter about 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 more minutes. Add the hazelnut powder (skinless hazelnuts, roasted and powdered), and the sifted flour with the salt until combined.
Divide the dough in half and wrap half in plastic film and chill for 30 minutes. The other half put back in the bowl of your standing mixer and beat with the sifted cocoa powder until completely incorporated. Wrap in plastic film and chill for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 300ºF with rack n the middle.
Line 2 backing trays with parchment paper.
Start with the white dough and make little round balls the size of a 1 cent coin (remember that you will be sticking 2 biscuits together and they have a soft illing so it should be a bite size biscuit). Put the biscuits on the lined baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes. They should remain quite pale. Let the biscuits cool on a rack.
Make the same sized balls of dough with the cocoa dough and proceed in the same way. Cool them in a rack.
Take one biscuit, add a little cold melted chocolate and stick another biscuit on top. Finish pairing all the biscuits and set aside.
Keep up to 3 days with the chocolate. You can also keep the biscuits in a air-tight container and only add the chocolate when you are going to serve them.