My Regional Italian recipe series is back after the holiday break. This week’s recipe takes us to Liguria once again. This time, I am going to take you to the little town of Alassio, near Savona in the western area of the region. This little town is very popular for its beautiful sea and is visited by many tourists each year. One of the best known dish of the area are these cookies, called Baci di Alassio (“kisses from Alassio”) because 2 “half cookies” kiss eachother… with chocolate! They are a little less famous than their Piedmontese cousins Baci di Dama and even though I must admit that Baci di Dama are and will always be my favourite cookies, these are really yummy too! Baci di Alassio are made with hazelnut meal (just like Baci di Dama), but their dough is much softer as it contains egg white and no butter. That is why you will need a piping bag to pipe them into shape and they will need to “rest” overnight before being baked (they remind me so much of their “other cousins”, the French macarons!). They are also quite soft and chewy after being baked… so if you like chewy cookies… these are perfect for you! Enjoy and don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a $50 or a $25 Amazon.com gift card!
Recipe adapted from Sac à poche (the cookies) and Giallo Zafferano (the ganache)
Ingredients (makes about 25):
250 gms – 1 cup Hazelnut meal
230 gms – 8.1 oz. sugar
1 tbsp honey
35 gms – ¼ cup + 1 tbsp cocoa powder
150 gms – 5.3 oz. egg whites
150 gms – 5.3 oz. dark chocolate
100 gms – 3.5 oz. heavy cream (for whipping)
Put the hazelnut meal, sugar, honey, cocoa powder and egg white in a mixer and blend until well combined.
Pipe this mixture with a piping bag on cookie sheets covered with baking paper (I used a decorative nozzle). Let them rest at room temperature overnight, then bake them in a preheated fan forced oven at 190°C – 375ºF for about 6-7 minutes. When ready, let them cool down completely on the cookie sheets before trying to detach them or they will break.
Now you can make your whipped chocolate ganache. Put the cream in a little pot and heat it up until almost boiling. Pour it on top of the roughly chopped chocolate and let it rest, without stirring, for 5 to 10 minutes. Now mix it with a spoon and then whip it with an electric hand mixer for 5 minutes.
Pipe the whipped chocolate ganache on half of the baci and put the remaining baci on the top, like a sandwich.
Put them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Anna @ the shady pine says
Indulgence just in time for he weekend….lovely presentation too in that tall glass!
Katherine Martinelli says
These look soooo good! What a sweet name too 🙂 Great post, Manu, I love your regional series!
Kiri W. says
I love all sorts of baci! These are my favorite treats when I go to Italy, I can never resist them 🙂 Wonderful recipe, I’ll have to bookmark this one for a special occasion.
Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen says
Manu, these are so cute. Love the name. I could kiss a plate of these with a good cup of coffee right now!
Have a great weekend my friend!
I’ve never had a baci of any sort but these look so good. What a lovely treat!
Eva Kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com says
I was actually licking my lips while I was reading your post, Manu. This is a beautiful and very flavourful cookie that I must try for Valentine’s day (much love celebration on February 14 in North America). Now I have to figure out who to make them for…they just can’t stay in my house…too dangerous.
Magic of Spice says
These look amazing…what a delectable treat!
Marsha @ The Harried Cook says
These are so adorable looking… at first glance, they looked like walnuts (with their shells on!) coated in chocolate… and I was wondering – how do we eat that! I’m glad I was wrong 😀 LOL… These cookies look and sound super decadent, and would be a great treat! Thanks for sharing 😀
I’ve seen a lot of use of hazelnut and now hazelnut meal lately and every recipe sounds delicious. These cookies – hard to beat!
These look divine!! Yuuum!
Sandra's Easy Cooking says
Manu, I love your creation here..Great recipe and stunning photos! Congrats on well deserved top 9!
Jill @ MadAboutMacarons says
Manu, sending baci your way to say bravo on Top9 – no wonder: these photos are absolutely fabulous!
[email protected] says
OMG OMG OMG these are the best cookies! I love Baci chocolate and i think these are so nice 🙂 Congrats for being top 9!
I didn’t know this version of baci. They look delicious!
movita beaucoup says
This post is so elegant that I almost feel bad for reading it in my polar fleece pyjamas.
Nuts about food says
I actually am more of a Baci di Alassio fan than of Baci di Dama…I mean look at all that chocolate. Fabulous.
Mi Vida en un Dulce says
The cookies look like a nut, look very beautiful, so I think should taste great.
Question, we don’t have hazelnut here, can I use pecans or almonds?
Hi Nydia! I think almonds will work fine for these cookies too. 🙂 Let me know if you try them! 🙂
Hello, This is my first visit to your very wonderful site. My, but have I ever got a lot to catch up on! Congratulations on gorgeous, tempting and inspiring work. Brava!
I pinned this recipe for later. 🙂
But I have two questions:
What’s an estimate for the number of eggs that are used?
The recipe calls for the mixture to rest overnight. Can the mixture rest longer? Perhaps in the refrigerator? I would probably start the dough one evening and bake it the next evening.
You will need approximately 5 medium eggs, but it does depend on how big they really are. You still need to weigh the whites (sometimes the yolks are bigger and weigh more etc.). If the whites are less, then the dough will be too hard to pipe and if they are more, then the dough will be too liquid and it won’t retain its shape. 🙂 If you don’t have a scale, maybe add the eggs white one by one and compare the dough with the one of the picture. I can’t guarantee the results, but it may work! 🙂
I think the mixture can rest longer (outside the fridge unless it is very hot), but I have never tried it. 🙂
Let me know how it goes!
Louise Ellen Van Maanen says
I absolutely love making these but I need some urgent advice on storage! Made a batch last night, stored them at room temperature in air tight container (no ganash) and they have gone soft. Can I fix them?
Hi Louise! I am not sure… have you tried putting them in the fridge? How soft are they? Was it humid/warm where you live?
Louise Ellen Van Maanen says
Hi, thanks for responding maybe a little humid. (Perth, Australia). I have kept them out on counter all day hoping to dry them. I will try filling them and putting in fridge tonight. Fingers crossed they are ok tomorrow. I have not had this problem before and I’ve made them a lot. They are amazing and my family all love it when I make them xoxo
Ohhhh Perth must be amazing! 🙂 I am so sorry it happened. It’s never happened to me either. Hopefully keeping them in the fridge overnight will help! Fingers crossed! Let me know! Have a great weekend!
Louise Ellen Van Maanen says
Hey Manu, well the fridge did take the stickiness away, and the end result was still a success. Thanks for your advice xoxo
Awww I am soooo happy to know that! Thank you for taking the time to let me know! <3