Pistachio Baci Di Dama Cookies

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I have writer’s block. I have too much on my mind to be creative, so whatever I write here to take up space would be a bunch of feathery BS. No one likes feathery BS.

I don’t think writer’s block is all bad—it gives me the headspace to create other things—but I’m not going to go too far into it since I’m not really a Writer writer.

I do still want to share this recipe for Pistachio Baci di Dama, though, for three reasons: 1. I’m sick of waiting for the words to come back. 2. I saw a two-pack of them being sold at Hell on Earth (Trader Joe’s, for the uninitiated), so I feel a trend coming on and I want to beat it. 3. Baci di Dama means “lady’s kisses” in Italian, and posting the recipe any closer to Valentine’s Day would be way too cute. 729 Layers, Inc. doesn’t tolerate treacle.

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Baci di Dama are minuscule Italian sandwich cookies made from ground hazelnuts and rice flour. A drop of chocolate seals the sandwich—gianduja in cookie form. With no wheat flour, the cookies are uniquely tender; press too hard and they turn to sweet sand. The toasted nuts make them warm- and rich-tasting, and the rice flour gives them some crunch.

I edited a holiday cookie magazine a few years ago and suggested we develop a Baci di Dama recipe for it. I’m glad we did; it was everyone’s favorite. It took shortcuts with wheat flour, though. Since then, I’ve always wanted to make a version with pistachio and just not tell any Italians (no Italians read this, right?). Yes, I love pistachio with chocolate. But I was really interested because pistachios are so much less oily than hazelnuts or even almonds, another popular cookie base; I was curious how they would perform. They worked beautifully, though they required different treatment than hazelnuts. I appreciate gianduja but not like most (I loathe plastic-y Nutella), so I might even enjoy these more than the traditional hazelnut versions. Again, apologies.

So here’s a recipe for cookies and that’s about it. Next time, I’ll be back with your regularly scheduled psychobabble.

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Pistachio Baci di Dama

Makes about 22 sandwich cookies

Use a kitchen scale to make this recipe.

85 grams shelled pistachios, toasted
50 grams sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
55 grams white rice flour
50 grams unsalted butter, cut into cubes and softened
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

1. Pulse pistachios, sugar, and salt in food processor until pistachios are texture of nut flour. Add rice flour and pulse to combine. Scatter butter over top and pulse until cohesive dough forms.

2. Transfer dough to counter and use your hands to make sure ingredients are incorporated. Divide dough into quarters and form each quarter into 3/4-inch-thick logs. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut each dough log into 4-gram pieces (about 11 pieces per log). Roll each piece into small ball. Transfer dough balls to plate or container, cover, and freeze for 30 minutes. Space dough balls evenly on baking sheet and bake until golden, 8 to 13 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer wire rack and let cool completely.

4. Place a scant 1/4 teaspoon melted chocolate on bottom of half of cookies. Top with other half of cookies and press gently until you can see the chocolate. Let chocolate set, about 30 minutes, before serving.

2 responses

  1. I love everything about this. Trader Joe’s = Hell on Earth. Nutella = plastic-y. Thank you. Thank you. Oh, but isn’t that cookie at the bottom left a little oblong? ;)

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