With their nutty flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture, these bite-sized hazelnut shortbread and chocolate cookies called Baci di dama or “lady’s kisses” are a special treat to share with a loved one for Valentine’s Day or any time of year.
While a box of chocolates or candy may be what first comes to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day, there’s nothing quite as thoughtful as making a homemade treat to share with your loved ones. So if you’re looking for a sweet treat you can make at home that is sure to make everyone happy, then cookies are in order, and these gluten-free Baci di dama or “Lady’s kisses” cookies are an extra-special and delicious way to say I love you.
Baci di dama consists of two meltingly tender Italian hazelnut shortbread cookies that are sandwiched together with a rich dark chocolate filling. With their wonderfully nutty flavor and delicate melt-in-your-mouth texture, these bite-sized cookies are a wonderful accompaniment to an afternoon espresso or an after-dinner treat. Plus they’re easy enough to make that everyone in the family can lend a hand in the kitchen for some Valentine’s Day fun.
How to Make Baci Di Dama:
- Originally from Italy’s Piedmont region (an area renowned for their excellent hazelnuts), Baci di dama are traditionally made with hazelnuts. You’ll need to toast them and remove the skins before grinding them into a powdery flour in the food processor (a few minutes in the oven and a quick rub with a clean kitchen towel is all it takes).
- Once you have your flour all you need are a bowl and a spoon to mix the eggless dough together.
- When ready, it goes into the fridge to chill until firm, then is rolled into tiny balls and baked until lightly golden.
- The dough will spread ever so slightly to create half domes that are then filled with a spoonful of chocolate and pressed together. All that’s left is to let the cookies set (which is arguably the hardest part) and they are ready to serve or gift.
Packed with hazelnut and chocolate, these tiny treats are sure to quickly become a new favorite.
More Valentine's Day Sweets and Treats to Make For Those You Love:
Gluten-Free Italian Cookies (Baci Di Dama)
These bite-sized hazelnut shortbread and chocolate cookies called Baci di dama or “lady’s kisses” are a special treat to share with a loved one for Valentine’s Day or any time of year.
- ½ cup/60g hazelnuts
- ½ cup/48g tapioca flour
- ¼ cup/ 28g almond flour
- ½ teaspoon grain-free baking powder
- 2 Tablespoons/28g organic palm shortening (or butter at room temperature for a non-vegan version)
- 3 Tablespoons/45g maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons/90g dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Place the hazelnuts on a baking pan and toast for 8 minutes or until fragrant and skins are splitting. Let cool and rub skins off with your fingers or by rubbing the hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel. Transfer nuts to the bowl of a small food processor along with tapioca flour and process until fine and powdery.
- In a large bowl combine the hazelnut flour with the almond flour and baking powder. Add the shortening, maple syrup, vanilla and salt and stir with a large spoon or spatula until a dough begins to form (dough will be sticky).
- Place the dough onto 2 large pieces of parchment and roll into 2 logs. Wrap and let chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until firm and easy to handle
- Slice dough into 48 even pieces and roll into small balls. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
- Once cooled, melt the chocolate by placing a large heatproof glass bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Turn off heat and let sit until chocolate it begins to melt, and then stir until smooth. Using a small teaspoon, dollop a spoonful of melted chocolate on the bottom of one cookie and top with another cookie to form a little sandwich. Let set completely on parchment before serving.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 86Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 17mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g
Nutritional information for recipes contained on this website, such as calories, fat, carbs, etc. are only estimates and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
Sylvie Shirazi is the recipe developer and food photographer behind Gourmande in the Kitchen. For the last 10 years she's been making eating more healthfully easy and accessible with gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and vegan recipes that are free from processed ingredients.
I assume that hazelnut flour would be fine in place of the ground hazelnuts. Is that correct? I love your recipes because I can't have gluten and rice. Thank you!
Yes that would be fine, just use an equal amount by weight!
Hi Sylvia! For those of us who cannot eat nuts, could you convert the almond flower BACI DI DAMA to a coconut flower recipe? It looks amazing!
Hi Susan, Unfortunately coconut flour won't give you the same result as almond flour and is not a 1:1 substitution. I'd suggest trying sunflower seeds ground into a flour (substitute equally by weight) and see how that works out.