These delicious “Lady Kisses” Italian cookies combine the classic combination of chocolate and hazelnuts. Pair with espresso or rich vanilla gelato. Be careful, they are addicting!
For the cookies:
- 2/3 cup hazelnuts, whole, raw
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small cubes
- 1/3 cup sugar
For the chocolate ganache filling:
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
Toast the hazelnuts:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Place hazelnuts on a large backing sheet and toast for 15 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant.
- Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and wrap them in a kitchen towel, allow to cool for 10 minutes, then rub them with the towel until the loose skins come off (don’t worry if all skins don’t come off).
For the cookies:
- Transfer the hazelnuts to a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
- Add the flour and pulse to combine.
- Add the butter, one cube at a time, pulsing after each cube.
- Add the sugar and mix until the butter is evenly dispersed, and the dough is smooth.
- Divide the dough into 2 pieces and roll each into a 1-inch log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Dough can also be frozen at this time for up to 3 months.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Using a sharp knife, cut hazelnut logs into ¼-inch rounds and place on the baking sheet spaced about ½-inch apart.
- Bake cookies for 15 minutes (or until they are set to the touch and lightly golden).
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before filling.
- Place the chocolate and heavy cream in a microwavable dish and heat for 1 minute. Stir to combine. Allow to cool to room temperature and transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.
- Pipe a generous dollop of chocolate on one cookie (bottom side up) and place another one on top (bottom side down). Give it a little twist to secure.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.