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

  • 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
  • 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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