Baci di dama are a type of gluten-free hazelnut cookie originally from the Piedmont area of Italy. Two sand-like cookies are sandwiched together with chocolate or if you prefer – Nutella!
Baci di dama, which means Lady’s Kisses in Italian, are pretty hard to describe to someone who hasn’t had them. They’re unlike any American cookie I’ve ever come across. I admit that they don’t sound all that exciting just by looking at the ingredients, so I’ll just have to recommend that you try them for yourself. :)
As much as I love my soft and chewy cookies, these baci di dama are pretty nice, too. I’ve tried a lot of recipes and the others were too crunchy for me. So I came up with something a little softer. My version isn’t crunchy at all but soft and crumbly.
These baci di dama use glutinous rice flour or white rice flour, both of which are gluten-free. I promised to never start posting recipes with “unusual” gluten-free flours (if you’re new here, I like to stick to nut flours!) so I wanted to try these with some easier to find flours. I’ve tried my baci di dama recipe with whole wheat and all-purpose flours and both worked well!
My favorite version is with glutinous rice flour. The texture of the baci di dama seemed smoother with it than with the other flours. After that, my next favorite was white rice flour.
The cookies still had a lovely sand-like texture. With whole wheat and all-purpose flours, they didn’t have that texture at all. They’re just soft and crumbly, and in my opinion, not that special tasting.
I found both glutinous rice flour and white rice flour at an Asian food shop. It was cheap and works just as well as my more expensive name brand rice flour that I brought back with me from the US, which was labelled as “sweet rice flour.” If you can’t find these flours in your local Asian food shop, they’re easy to find on Amazon.
This recipe also uses hazelnut meal, which is pretty cheap and easy to find where I live. I’ve never bought it in the US, so I just looked at the prices on Amazon and $16 for less than a pound is pretty insane.
Does anyone know of a better source? You could also use roasted hazelnuts and grind them in a food processor until finely ground!
I’m sure traditional recipes don’t use Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur), but I happened to have some around and wanted to use it. So I replaced the water in the recipe with Frangelico! And it was a nice move.
They do taste more complex and interesting than the cookies made with water but if you have no interest in drinking hazelnut liqueur, you certainly don’t need to go out and buy a bottle just for these cookies. But if you think you’d enjoy Frangelico, then definitely invest in a bottle! It’s delicious. Especially in hot chocolate. :)
Mr. T., the Nutella fiend, wants you all to know that these are even better with some Nutella sandwiched between the cookies. And hey, it’s one less step! No melting of chocolate needed. :) You could also use homemade chocolate hazelnut spread for a healthier, less sugary version of these delicious little morsels.
These little cookies would be a great dessert after this traditional Italian pasta fagioli recipe, which looks amazing!
I hope you’ll enjoy the baca di dama! Should you try them, please leave a comment below to let me know what you thought. Thank you!
Baci di Dama Cookies
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 52 sandwich cookies
- 140 grams (1 3/4 cup) roasted hazelnut meal1
- 120 grams (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) glutinous rice flour or white rice flour or 120 grams (1 cup) white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons Frangelico or water
- 120 grams (8 1/2 tablespoons) butter
- 65 grams (1/2 cup) coconut sugar or (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
- 45 grams (1/4 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients except for the chocolate. I used a fork and then used my hands to get the butter well combined.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and line a baking sheet with a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper.
- Roll the dough into 1/2" balls and place 1" apart on the baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies for 7 minutes. They should be set but not have turned brown yet.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl at 50% power in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment.
- When the cookies are completely cool, dollop a tiny bit of chocolate on the center of a cookie and sandwich it together with another cookie. Repeat with the rest of the cookies.
- Place the assembled cookies back on the Silpat or parchment paper you used for baking and let the chocolate harden. If you're in a hurry, place them in the fridge to harden quicker.
- Cover the cookies and let sit at room temperature for up to 5 days.
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26 comments on “Baci di Dama Italian Cookies (gluten-free, whole wheat options)” — Add one!
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How many cookies (or halves) does this recipe make?
Sorry for just now seeing this! Hopefully, you found the answer. :) The yield listed in the recipe box is 52 sandwich cookies.
I am trying this out many times but each end every time may cookies are melting in the oven and losing their circle shape:((
Do you think Why?
Hello! I’m sorry to hear that. :( Did you make any changes to the recipe at all? Different ingredients or how you made them? Do you maybe live outside of the US? If so there could be ingredients issues.
I made these cookies with walnuts, using whole wheat pastry flour. My concern was, does bater needs to be cold or room temperature? I did not add any water at all and kept adding more flour probably close to 1cup and my bater which was pretty soft made the dough a little hard to work with, it was very moist. By the time i baked the cookies they were good but a little wet as if it was too much butter. Next time i’ll try to reduce the amount of butter or add more flour.
I’m pretty sure that the dough felt wet because of the whole wheat pastry flour, which has a lower protein and gluten content than white whole wheat. It’s great for cakes and some other pastries but I don’t recommend it for cookies (though I’m sure it works in some recipes!) I suggest using one of the types of flours listed in the recipe or like you said, reducing the butter but then it’s pretty much just a guessing game. I’ve made these with room temperature dough and cold dough and they came out the same both times. I’m happy they still came out well! Thanks for the feedback. :)
YUM! Just tried this recipe, and I love it! I’ve been looking for good tasting gluten free cookies, and these are the first I’ve found! Thank you! I altered the recipe by using milk chocolate and instead of making it a sandwich, I just poured the chocolate in big dabs on top. For this choco-holic, the more chocolate, the better! Any other gluten-free goodies you’d recommend??
I’m so happy that you liked the cookies! I like your change of using milk chocolate. Milk chocolate is always better. ;) As for GF goodies… I have lots! Chocolate banana muffins, chocolate hazelnut fudge bites, grain-free fudge brownies, chocolate peanut butter macaroons, chocolate peanut butter brownies. And I know you said chocolate but these two are really nice: chewy ginger sandwich cookies with lemon filling and chewy lemon cookie sandwiches. I hope that helps! Thanks a bunch for the feedback. :)
Just shared on FB too. FB and I aren’t friends right now but maybe you’ll get a few visits :).
Thanks so much! :)
I just stocked up on hazelnuts, my timing is perfect for these cookies! :)
Woohoo! I hope you get a chance to try them. :)
Oh my gosh, I’m so excited about these! I have had Baci di Dama in years and I remember loving them!!
They’re nice, aren’t they? :) I hope you get a chance to make them!
Erin, these look absolutely scrumptious. I love the chocolatey filling. Pinned.
Thanks a ton for pinning! :)
I’ve never heard of these – they sound wonderful, and look even cuter :)
Thanks! And yeah, I hadn’t heard of them until a few months ago. So happy I tried them! :)
These are so cute!! I am seriously all about the sandwich cookies this holiday season – I just need to find another day before Christmas to try all the cookies on my to-do list :)
Same here! My last two recipes have been sandwich cookies and my next one will be, too. I seem to be on cookie sandwich rampage. :D
Great cookies! I am a big fan of Frangelico, I bet it adds a great flavor!
It adds just a little to the flavor but still… very nice! :)
Yum! I love how mini these are. They look awesome!
Mini is always cuter, isn’t it? ;)
These look delicious. I have never used glutenous rice flour, but find white rice flour (even fine milled) alone can be quite gritty. Is the glutenous version smoother?
I think the same about white rice flour! This is the first thing I’ve made with white rice flour that I actually liked and didn’t find chalky. Maybe because of the combination of flour and hazelnut meal? The few things I’ve made with glutinous rice flour haven’t come out gritty at all! I don’t have that much experience with it but I’m thinking that the glutinous version might yield smoother products.