Lady's Kisses (Baci di Dama)
|Prep time||2 hours|
|Cooking time||30 minutes|
|Total time||2 hours, 30 minutes|
Nomadic Oven baker Jen Smith says: I first tasted these tiny cookies in Piedmont, a region in Northern Italy where even the tiniest village has a pastry shop filled with chocolaty confections. When I asked about the romantic name, I was told that they look like a plump pair of lips, or if you turn the cookie sideways, like two lovers kissing.
In the bowl of a food processor, blend the almonds, salt, orange zest, and sugar into a fine meal. Add the flour, and pulse a few times until thoroughly mixed. Cut the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces, and add to the dry ingredients. Pulse the blender just until the mixture comes together. Turn the mixture onto a counter and knead lightly, just to ensure that there are no unincorporated pieces of butter.
Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least one hour, until firm.
Preheat an oven to 325 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment. Using a melon baller, cookie scoop, or spoon, form balls of an even size, (mine weigh around 7 grams, about the size of a green grape).
Space evenly on the baking sheet, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the base of the cookies have just begun to turn golden.
As the cookies cool, chop the chocolate finely, and melt in the microwave, or in a metal bowl set over gently simmering water.
When the cookies are cool, sort them into pairs of matching size, dab some chocolate in between, and chill until firm in the refrigerator.