Known as 'Baci di dama' in Italy, or 'lady kisses' these gluten-free little cookies are perfectly appropriate (with a little ginger added of course) seeing as though today is International Kiss a Ginger Day. Instead of going around kissing random (ginger/red-headed) strangers, I think perhaps giving them a 'kiss' ie. a small cute cookie which can be popped whole into the mouth, is a little more... proper. I know this, because I've had some awkward smooches from people today! (Okay, I enjoyed it, just a little bit!)
Traditionally these baci are made with toasted hazelnuts, but toasted almonds would be equally delicious! As would sandwiching them together with melted white chocolate, although the dark bitter kind paired with the ginger is heavenly! If you're going all-out with the ginger, then double the spice. If you aren't a ginger fan then simply leave it out. It's such a versatile dough that you could add whichever flavourings you like - some orange zest, cocoa powder for a chocolate version or even a chai-spiced cookie would be delicious!
Happy baking - and don't forget to give a kiss to a ginger today!
Chocolate hazelnut ginger kisses or 'Baci di Dama'
140g hazelnuts (or almonds), toasted and skinned
140g (1 cup) rice flour or corn starch
1 tsp ground ginger
100g butter, softened
pinch of salt
100g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped and melted
Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and line two baking sheets. Place the nuts in a food process and process until the consistency of coarse breadcrumbs. Add the flour, spice, butter, sugar and salt and pulse until the mixture comes together to form a soft dough.Divide the dough into three pieces and roll each into 2cm thick logs then refrigerate until firm. Working with one piece of dough at a time, cut off small pieces of dough (about 5g each) then roll into little balls and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. Sandwich together with melted chocolate and allow to set.