Kisses from the Riviera:Baci di Alassio

Alassio on the Italian Riviera is world famous for its kisses: Baci di Alassio we call them. They are named “baci” (Italian for kisses) because if you look at the cookies sideways, their silhouette resembles lips ready to kiss.
Even though the appearance of these cookies requires a bit of imagination for the kiss part, it doesn’t require any guess work to imagine their delightful flavor. How can you go wrong when pairing hazelnuts and dark chocolate?
When in the US, I rigorously use Oregon hazelnuts and dark European chocolate widely available. A match made in taste buds heaven. Give it a try.

Pipe the soft ganache when it's not too hard .

Video recipe of the day

  • DifficultyMedium
  • CostExpensive
  • Preparation time30 Minutes
  • Cooking time15 Minutes
  • Serving12 at 2 cookies each
  • Cooking methodOven
  • CuisineItalian


Chocolate Ganache

5 ounces dark chocolate (Belgian, in bars)
5 ounces heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee

Baci dough:

8.8 ounces hazelnut flour
2.8 ounces powdered cane sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder (Dutch processed)
2 egg whites
3.5 ounces powdered cane sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup (light)
1 pinch salt



Prepare the ganache

The ganache will have to be prepared ahead in order to cool and solidify a bit so won’t run out of the cookies. The steps are disarmingly easy:
1- Steep cream and coffee powder
2-Coarsely chop the chocolate and add it to the cream. Let it sit 5 minutes off heat.
3-Stir until blended and smooth, set aside at room temperature stirring once in a while.
The ideal consistency is the one like in the picture below. Soft to pipe but not runny.

Should you decide to shape the kisses like hearts, you can easily dunk some in melted chocolate!

How to make the Baci dough

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees static.
In a medium size bowl mix the dry ingredients: the Hazelnut flour, the cocoa and the 2.8 oz powder sugar. Set aside.
With a stand up mixer and the whip attachment, whip the egg whites and salt until frothy.
Add the powder sugar a bit at a time and keep whipping for several minutes. The meringue should be shiny and stiff.

Fold in the corn syrup and the dry ingredients.
You will notice that the batter stays pretty stiff, it’s ok.
In case you are wanting to pipe a different shape it will be hard, so reduce the amount of dry ingredients you add to the meringue.
Using a 1T scoop as in the link above, form about 48 small mounds of dough.
Wet your hands and roll each dough portion on a round and place it on the silicon mat.
With your wet finger (or will stick) press each dome gently until flat, do not press too much.
Bake about 12 minutes . The cookies will harden as they cool.
Let the cooked Baci di Alassio rest on the mat until totally cooled to room temperature. The bottom should be nice and flat with a hint of caramelization.

easy steps to the perfect Baci Kisses

Using a spoon, a spatula or (better) a piping bag, spread some of the ganache on one cookie bottom (flat side) and press a second one on top, like the picture below.
Your Baci di Alassio, or Kisses from the Riviera are ready.

Can you see the silhouette of a pair of lips in these cookies? Baci di Alassio are ready.

The Baci will get softer after a day or so. They can easily be refrigerate or frozen for longer storage.

Bring them to room temperature before serving, so that the ganache will be nice and soft.

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