Chocolate Kisses (Baci di Cioccolato)

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Adorable bite-sized chocolate cookies sandwiched with a dollop of chocolate ganache.

These adorably sophisticated cookies are adapted from Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen, a wonderful Italian dessert cookbook by the late pastry chef Gina DePalma. The cookies are a variation of Italy’s famous baci di dama (lady’s kisses), which consist of two bite-size hazelnut cookies surrounding a rich chocolate filling. In DePalma’s words, “Baci means ‘kisses’ in Italian, and here two chocolate cookies are sandwiched with a kiss of chocolate ganache. It is highly likely that the lucky people who devour them will kiss you for making them.” Having made these intensely-chocolate cookies for the chocoholics in my family, I can confirm this is true.

What You’ll Need To Make Chocolate Kisses

chocolate kisses ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

For the Cookies:

Place the almonds and 3 tablespoons of the granulated sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the almonds are finely ground and powdery.
ground almonds and sugar

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
dry ingredients in bowl

Whisk to combine.

whisked dry ingredients

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar.

butter and confectioners sugar in mixer

Beat on medium speed until creamy and light, about 2 minutes. Then add the vanilla and rum (if using), scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

creamed butter and sugar with vanilla and rum

Beat until combined.

creamed butter, sugar, vanilla and rum

Add the dry ingredients.

adding dry ingredients to cookie dough

Beat on low speed until combined.

chocolate cookie dough

Add the ground almond mixture and mix to combine.

adding almonds to cookies dough

Scrape the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap, wrap it, and flatten it into a disc. Chill for about 1 hour, or until it is firm enough to handle.

wrapped chocolate cookie dough ready to chill

On a lightly floured work surface, cut the dough into 3 pieces.

cutting chocolate cookie dough into thirds

Work with one piece at a time, keeping the others wrapped and refrigerated. Roll the first portion of the dough into a log about 3/4 inch in diameter.

rolling the dough into logs

Cut each log into 1/2-inch pieces.

cutting logs of dough into piecesRoll each piece into a ball, then roll the balls in granulated sugar to coat them completely. Place the balls on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 1-1/2 inches apart. Repeat with the remaining portions of dough.

rolling dough balls in sugar

Bake the cookies, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back midway through, until they are puffed and cracking slightly on top, 12 to 14 minutes.
baked chocolate cookies

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then use a spatula to transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

chocolate cookies cooling on baking sheet

For the Ganache Filling:

While the cookies are baking, make the ganache filling. Pour the cream into a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until boiling, about 1 minute. Add the chocolate and butter; let sit for 1 minute.

cream, chocolate and butter in bowl

Whisk until smooth and glossy. (Alternatively, put the chocolate and butter in a medium bowl, bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan, and then pour the cream over the chocolate and butter.) Whisk in the rum, if using.

chocolate ganache

Allow the ganache to cool, whisking it occasionally, until it is thickened enough to spread with a knife, about 45 minutes.

thickened chocolate ganache

To Assemble the Cookies:

Pair up the cookies according to size. Turn one cookie upside down and, using a butter knife, spread a heaping teaspoon of the ganache onto the flat side, then place the bottom of the second cookie on the ganache to form a sandwich; the two round tops of the cookies should be facing outward. Repeat until all the cookies have been used.

making chocolate kisses

Allow the ganache to firm up at room temperature for about an hour, then transfer the cookies to a serving plate. The cookies can be stored, layered between sheets of parchment paper, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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Chocolate Kisses (Baci di Cioccolato)

Adorable bite-sized chocolate cookies sandwiched with a dollop of chocolate ganache.

Servings: 46 sandwich cookies
Prep Time: 45 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour, plus 1 hour to chill the dough

Ingredients

For the Cookies

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)

For the Ganache Filling

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons dark rum (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the almonds and 3 tablespoons of the granulated sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the almonds are finely ground and powdery.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar on medium speed until creamy and light, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and rum (if using), scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until combined, then beat in the ground almond mixture. Scrape the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap, wrap it, and flatten it into a disc. Chill for about 1 hour, or until it is firm enough to handle.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°F and set two oven racks in the centermost positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. On a lightly floured work surface, cut the dough into 3 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the others wrapped and refrigerated. Roll the first portion of the dough into a log about 3/4 inch in diameter. Cut each log into 1/2-inch pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then roll the balls in granulated sugar to coat them completely. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1-1/2 inches apart. Repeat with the remaining portions of dough.
  6. Bake the cookies, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back midway through, until they are puffed and cracking slightly on top, 12 to 14 minutes.
  7. While the cookies are baking, make the ganache filling. Pour the cream into a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until boiling, about 1 minute. Add the chocolate and butter; let sit for 1 minute, then whisk until smooth and glossy. (Alternatively, put the chocolate and butter in a medium bowl, bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan, and then pour the cream over the chocolate and butter.) Whisk in the rum, if using. Allow the ganache to cool, whisking it occasionally, until it is thickened enough to spread with a knife, about 45 minutes. (Don't let it cool for too long, or it will be too firm to spread.)
  8. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then use a spatula to transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
  9. To assemble the kisses: Pair up the cookies according to size. Turn one cookie upside down and, using a butter knife, spread a heaping teaspoon of the ganache onto the flat side, then place the bottom of the second cookie on the ganache to form a sandwich; the two round tops of the cookies should be facing outward. (Alternatively, use a pastry bag fitted with a plain or star tip to pipe the ganache onto the cookies.) Repeat until all the cookies have been used. Allow the ganache to firm up at room temperature for about an hour, then transfer the cookies to a serving plate.
  10. The cookies can be stored, layered between sheets of parchment paper, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  11. Note: If you have any leftover chocolate ganache, let it firm up and roll it into balls. Then roll the balls in cocoa powder or confectioners' sugar to make truffles.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 114
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11 g
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Sodium: 30 mg
  • Cholesterol: 17 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Hey Jenn! I loved the end result of the cookies! My family loved them as well and they were gone quickly. One question though, when I was shaping the cookies I tried to roll them into a rope like you said to do but it was to dry and stiff to do that. Any suggestions?

    • — Meghan Gillett on February 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Meghan, You may just need to knead the dough with your hands for a bit to soften it up.

      • — Jenn on March 1, 2021
      • Reply
  • Made these yesterday for a Birthday/Valentine’s Day dinner. Loved that they are bite sized. They were delicious! I will definitely make them again.

    • — Tricia on February 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • These were perfect for
    Gal-entine’s Day. Perfect size bite and perfect flavor. Loved these. They freeze well too! Thank you for another wonderful treat.

    • — Andi Hoffman on February 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • The flavor and texture of these cookies is delicious! Mine did not dome up as much as the picture shows though so they weren’t as cute:-( Any idea why they might have flattened out?

    • — Shelley on February 12, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed, Shelley! What brand of flour do you use?

      • — Jenn on February 12, 2021
      • Reply
      • I’m not sure what brand it was, I don’t have one that I stick to. Is there a brand you recommend?

        • — Shelley on February 15, 2021
        • Reply
        • Hi Shelley, I use King Arthur flour for all of my baking. It actually makes a big difference, especially with cookies.

          • — Jenn on February 15, 2021
          • Reply
          • Hello Jenn. Are these cookies crunchy or soft? I’d love to give them a try!

            • — Hannah on April 26, 2021
          • Hi Hannah, I would describe these as more crisp than soft. Hope you enjoy if you make them!

            • — Jenn on April 26, 2021
  • Hello! Looking forward to trying this with hazelnuts. How far ahead could I make the dough and keep in the fridge, or freeze the unbaked dough?

    • — Melinda on February 9, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Melinda, You can refrigerate the dough for about 3 days and, yes, you can freeze the dough for longer storage. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 9, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thanks for your reply! I baked a couple of testers and like Tracey back in December mine spread instead of puffing up. I used generic flour, though I’m not sure how much difference that makes. Could the baking powder have gone flat if I refrigerated the dough overnight instead of baking right away? Or, would it help if I refrigerate or freeze the marbles and bake straight from fridge or frozen?

        thanks for the recipe! The ones I made are to give away so I still don’t know what the cookie itself tastes like but the raw dough was delicious!

        • — Melinda on February 10, 2021
        • Reply
        • I don’t think refrigerating the dough would be an issues. I would switch to King Arthur flour; I find that the brand of flour makes a huge difference, especially with cookies. You could also refrigerate the dough balls — it will help — but you shouldn’t need to.

          • — Jenn on February 11, 2021
          • Reply
  • These look great but may I ask- what is the texture of the baked cookie? The finished product looks dense and chewy- is that right or is that my wishful thinking? Thank you for all the great recipes!

    • — Emily on February 5, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Emily, I would describe the cookie as more crisp than dense and chewy — sorry!

      • — Jenn on February 9, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thank you so much- I’m still going to try them. They look too good not to try!

        • — Emily on February 11, 2021
        • Reply
  • My kids and I made these together over Christmas break, and the results were fantastic! It wasn’t nearly as much work as I had feared, and once you get into the groove it goes quickly. Each cookie is the perfect combination of rich chocolate, just enough sweetness, and a hint of salt that makes for a deliciously balanced bite. I think I’ve found our family’s new Christmas cookie tradition!

    • — Lisa on February 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • Can this recipe be cut in half? It’s just too risky having 46 cookies around the house!

    • — Joanne Wolfe on February 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • LOL – sure!

      • — Jenn on February 4, 2021
      • Reply
  • These cookies are totally worth all the time and effort. They’re not super sweet and the combination of the cookie and ganache is heavenly. I was planning on giving some to friends because I thought we had “too many” but my husband proved me wrong. If you have the flexibility throughout the day, I recommend making the dough in the morning and finishing the cookies/ganache later in the afternoon or spacing it out over two days. There’s a lot of steps and having a little separation makes the process feel less daunting. These aren’t “simple” by any means, but they are delicious and will impress anyone you share them with.

    • — Kat on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe seemed like a lot of work but in essence, after refrigerating the dough, then a few days later, taking it out of the fridge and rolling the dough into small “marbles,” it was actually very relaxing. Once the pans were in the oven, the ganache was simple to make and then finally, putting the halves together, created a delicious cookie that our kids and grandchildren absolutely loved!
    I will be making these again soon! The recipe as always, is very easy to follow…even for a guy like me who is just starting to learn to bake!

    • — Gord on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • These were absolutely phenomenal. The first day they are a little ‘shorter’ and I was concerned that they wouldn’t be as good the following day. But the next day they somehow became even more delicious-melt-in-the-mouth-y. Also, the method for cutting/dividing the dough is ingenious and I have made a mental note to try that methodology on other recipes. The only change I would make is that I did use all of the ganache filling and some in my family thought they were a bit too rich. Next time, I would use a little less in each cookie to make them more universally appealing. And having a little extra ganache leftover to eat on a spoon when cravings strike is never a bad thing. 🙂

    • — Noreen on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made these for Christmas and they disappeared as fast as I made them with My grandson. Added a little espresso powder For more flavor and cut the heavy cream with some half and half. Excellent cookie.

    • — Roy on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made these last night with the exact amount of heavy cream needed for it after using the other heavy cream for yummy chicken Marsala (you can find that recipe on here). What a hit! I had my kids help me with the dough once I cut them up into pieces and it was a race to see who could make the most dough balls.

    I did reduce the amount of confectioners sugar, only using 2/3 of a cup and it was the perfect sweetness for me. I also separated about half a cup of the ganache and added the two teaspoons of rum in so my hubby and I could have something only we could enjoy. I didn’t make the ganache in time so I ended up refrigerating it for about 20 minutes and checking on it every 4 minutes or so to whisk and make sure it wasn’t too hard to spread. Looking forward to turning the rest of the ganache into truffles! Thanks again, Jen, for another amazing recipe! I’m already getting requests from friends and family for these chocolate kisses!

    • — chue Cha on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • These kisses are perfect for Valentine’s!! And the ganache so decadent laced with the dark rum.
      Adorable new dessert treat! 😍❣️XOXO 💕

      • — Lisa Burk on January 28, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made these cute little cookies for Christmas with my dad and aunt. We all three love to bake and had a great time making and enjoying them! The directions were easy to follow and it was a fun project for Christmas morning! We even made truffles with the leftover ganache which has started a new baking obsession! Thanks Jenn for yet another great recipe.

    • — Kristen on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • These chocolate kisses —or the lovelier name of baci di cioccolato—were a HUGE hit. Perhaps the recipe where I got the most bang for my buck. Yes, they took more work than a simple recipe but they look far more complicated than they are.
    Next time I would make more of an effort to make the cookies the same size. Not because they didn’t all turn out well; big and small all were cookied the right amount, but because the small size worked well as a one-bite-cookie. The larger ones created more mess and were sometimes more calories than some eaters wanted.
    The biggest mistake I made—the only mistake really—was in putting in too little ganache between the cookies. I didn’t want to run out so I was frugal in the amount I put in at first. Ended up with a lot of leftover ganache (no problem scarfing that down and putting it over ice cream!) but the cookies would have benefitted from more of the moist filling.

    • — Carla on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • What a special treat! It was the first time I ever made ganache, and never realized it was so easy. The cookies were decadent and delicious.

    • — Maddy on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I added a little espresso powder to the filling. I am crazy for mocha. It was pretty tasty.

    • — Debra on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Watch out for these little beauties, they’re amazing. They make a perfect Valentine’s Day treat for someone special.

    • — Jan Mark on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • OMG in love with these!! Delish….great desert:)

    • — Anne Nowlin on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I turn to Jenn time and time again when I want something new and exciting to make. This recipe did not disappoint. I followed the recipe exactly as written (I added the rum). The dark rum gave an unexpected warmth to the kisses. Perfecto!!! My husband will be asking for these treats again and again. Thanks once more for another perfectly written recipe!!!

    • — Nikki on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • Oops! Forgot the stars!

      • — Nikki on January 28, 2021
      • Reply
  • These little cookies are delicious and although they take awhile to construct, they meet my need for something not typical on the holiday cookie tray that tastes delicious. Will make again next year. Stored surprisingly well in airtight container.

    • — Emily B on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • We love the classic Bacci candy that you can commercially buy, but making these takes the experience to a whole new level. Your recipes inspire me!

    • — Colorado Green Eyes on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made these a couple of times and they are fantastic! Would like to try them with Nutella rather than chocolate ganache. Can you recommend a way to get the Nutella thick enough so it stays between the cookies without sliding out when they are put together?
    Thanks!

    • — RUTH on January 16, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you like these. I think the only way to make these with Nutella and keep the Nutella inside the cookies is to keep them chilled. Please LMK how they turn out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on January 19, 2021
      • Reply
  • Can these be made without almonds? Since we have a tree nut allergy. Would you recommend a substitute or alteration to flour amount? Otherwise they sound so delicious! Thanks

    • — Janine on January 10, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Janine, Are peanuts okay? If so, you could substitute unsalted peanuts. Please LMK how they turn out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on January 12, 2021
      • Reply
  • We added these to our holiday cookie list this year and they were amazing.

    • — Lisa on December 30, 2020
    • Reply
  • These cookies are delicious! I substituted almonds with hazelnuts. I added about 4 more ounces of chocolate to thicken the ganache. Such heavenly cookies!

    • — Elsa on December 25, 2020
    • Reply
  • I made these tonight and they turned out so well. They are delicious, I love the ganache! I used almond flour in place of the slivered almonds (scant 1/2 cup as you suggested to another reviewer) and that worked well for me.

    • — Miranda on December 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • Can the cookies be made the day before and then filled the next day?

    • — Barbara on December 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, that’s fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 23, 2020
      • Reply
  • If I don’t have almonds, am I able to substitute or omit?

    • — Britta C on December 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Britta, I think any nut would be delicious here.

      • — Jenn on December 23, 2020
      • Reply
  • I just pulled these out of the oven and they taste delicious but definitely didn’t puff up, rather they spread flat. Any ideas?
    Thanks!

    • — Tracey on December 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Tracey, What brand of flour do you use?

      • — Jenn on December 23, 2020
      • Reply
    • Excellent and easy to make. My kids and husband loved these! Jen’s recipes always come out well!

      • — Jen E on January 28, 2021
      • Reply
      • Love these special treats. Fun project with grandsons. They helped assemble these and loved sampling the ganache! Love the size, shape and chocolaty flavor! And they look beautiful! Great recipe for Christmas swap! So special. Definitely will be making these again!

        • — Jean Pierce on January 28, 2021
        • Reply
  • I made these tonight and they are unbelievable. They are now in my Xmas rotation. They are not too sweet but they have just the right amount of chocolate. Thank you for these.

    • — Joanne Samela on December 22, 2020
    • Reply
  • Just finished making this recipe and it is so good!!!! Very simple easy to follow directions. I didn’t quite get the 48 cookies so I have quite a bit of ganache left over. Any ideas on what I can do with the leftovers? Will it keep? Thank you!!

    • — Vikki Longo on December 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Vikki, Glad they turned out well! Let the ganache firm up and roll it into balls, then roll the balls in confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, or finely chopped nuts, and you’ll have delicious truffles. They will keep in the fridge for a week.

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2020
      • Reply
      • Wow! What a great idea!! Thank you!

        • — Vikki Longo on December 23, 2020
        • Reply
  • Thanks for this recipe. My mother used to make these cookies every year! We called them chocolate bombs because one was enough! Can’t wait to make them.

    • — Sue on December 22, 2020
    • Reply
  • Happy holidays, Jenn! Can this cookie dough be rolled out and cut with cookie cutters, too?

    • — Helen on December 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • I don’t think it will hold its shape, Helen – sorry!

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2020
      • Reply
    • Hi Jenn
      These sound delicious and are next on my list of your recipes to make 🙂 Can they be frozen? The baked cookies only or completed with the ganache? Thank you! I have made so many of your delicious recipes both savory and sweet to rave reviews!
      Happy holidays to you & your family! Be safe!

      • — Anita R on December 23, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi Anita, I would freeze the baked cookies without the ganache. Happy holidays!

        • — Jenn on December 24, 2020
        • Reply
  • You mention hazelnuts, (which I love) but recipe uses almonds. Can hazelnuts be used instead of the almonds?

    Love your recipes, I’ve made many of them.

    • — Lorrie on December 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • I think hazelnuts would be delicious here, Lorrie. Please LMK how they turn out. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • These look so good!!! I don’t have the plain slivered almonds. Could I substitute with roasted almonds?

    • — Vikki Longo on December 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes, I think that’d be fine, Vikki.

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • These cookies look great! Is there a similar nut-free version?

    • — Lori on December 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Lori, I think you could make these without the nuts, but it might take a little experimenting to figure out how much additional flour the recipe would require. If you wanted to try, I would probably start by increasing the flour by 1/4 cup.

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thanks Jen!

        • — Lori on December 22, 2020
        • Reply
  • Hi Jennifer,

    These look so cute and I can’t wait to make them with my kids on Christmas Eve. I would like to know if the almond flour I have can replace the slivered almonds (will be a great time saver too!). If that is possible, how much almond flour would you suggest to be equal to 1/2 cup slivered almonds?

    Thank you,
    Angela

    • — Angela on December 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Angela, I think it should work. I’d use a scant 1/2 cup. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it that way. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • These look delicious. Can they be frozen?
    Thanks.

    • — Joanne Samela on December 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Joanne, I think the cookies can be frozen without the ganache, but once filled I wouldn’t freeze them.

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thank you! I want to make them tonight, so I think I will just leave them in the fridge so that they will last to Christmas.

        • — Joanne on December 22, 2020
        • Reply

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