Italian Cookies (Baci di Dama)

Italian Cookies (Baci di Dama) are made with two melt-in-your-mouth hazelnut cookies held together with some good dark chocolate. Italian cookies would make an excellent addition to the Christmas cookie platter!

Italian Cookies Baci di Dama with chocolate filling

Hi guys! Marina from Let the Baking Begin blog here! I hope these Italian Cookies will become part of your holiday traditions. They’re so addicting!

Italian Cookies Recipe (Baci di Dama)

Originating in the northwest region of Italy, these Italian Cookies are filled with tons of roasted hazelnuts. Combined with the dark chocolate, they remind me of Nutella (or this Ferrero Rocher Cake). Their texture is both crunchy and melt-in-your-mouth tender which makes it so hard to stop at just one!

The Italian Cookies are perfect to serve next to a hot cup of strong coffee or espresso in the morning, or as an afternoon treat. The name, Baci di Dama, means “lady’s kisses” since the two halves of the cookies resemble two lips that come together for a kiss.

Italian Cookies Baci di Dama are made with two melt-in-your-mouth hazelnut cookies held together with a good dollop of dark chocolate.

The secret to Perfect Italian Cookies:

One of the most important things which ensure proper shape and texture of the Italian cookies is to use well-chilled butter. Then, once the cookies are shaped the dough must be chilled once again to prevent melting or spreading in the oven, as well as cracking. The rest of the process is smooth sailing!

Ingredients for the Italian Cookies

  • This recipe can be made with both hazelnut and/or almond flour/meal, depending on your preference. Using store-bought hazelnut or almond flour will give a more tender resulting Italian cookie, so feel free to replace whole hazelnuts with the same amount of hazelnut or almond flour (by weight, 240g). I prefer the cookies with little pieces of hazelnuts still felt throughout the cookie though. For this, I pulse the hazelnuts in a food processor or a coffee grinder until mostly flour-like.
  • Use only well chilled, unsalted butter for this recipe.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the recipe card for the gluten-free version.

Ingredients for baci di dama Italian cookies with ground hazelnuts, butter and flour

How to make the Italian Cookies (Baci di Dama)

  • Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk. Add the cubed butter, vanilla extract and beat with a mixer until a dough forms.

Italian Cookies - Baci di Dama

  • Shape the Italian Cookies by using a small ice cream scoop, or just pinch away about 2 teaspoons of dough, then roll into a ball and place on a baking sheet about 1.5 inches apart. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  • Then, preheat the oven to 325 degrees with the baking rack in the middle. Bake the cookies for about 17-18 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Italian Cookies - Baci di Dama

  • In a microwave-safe bowl melt the chocolate chips by heating it in 10-15 second intervals, stirring occasionally, until melted.
  • Sandwich two cookie halves with about 1 tsp of chocolate and allow to set for about 30 minutes before serving.

How to Make Chocolate filling for Italian Cookies

More Christmas Cookies to Try:

Italian Cookies - Baci di Dama

4.82 from 11 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Italian Cookies - Baci di Dama

Italian Cookies Baci di Dama are made with two melt-in-your-mouth hazelnut cookies which are held together with some good dark chocolate.

Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin!
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $10-$12
Keyword: baci di dama, hazelnut cookies, italian cookies
Calories: 117 kcal
Servings: 40 cookies


Italian Cookie Ingredients

  • 2 cups hazelnuts roasted, skinned (2 cups = 240g)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 oz cold unsalted butter cut to small pieces
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Baci di Dama Chocolate Filling

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


How to Make Italian Cookies

  1. Line 2 baking sheet pans with parchment paper, set aside. Pulse the hazelnuts in a food processor or a coffee grinder until mostly flour-like with some pieces that still retain texture.

  2. In a large mixer bowl whisk together ground hazelnuts, flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the cold cubed butter, vanilla extract and mix until a dough forms with no visible butter chunks. 

  3. Using a small ice cream scoop, portion the dough into about 2 teaspoon chunks, then roll each one into a ball. Set Italian cookies onto the prepared baking sheet about 1.5 inches apart. Slightly tap on top of each hazelnut cookie ball to flatten. See *recipe notes* for how to shape and bake smaller sized cookies.

  4. Chill cookies in the fridge for 1 hour. About 45 minutes into it, preheat the oven to 325 degrees with the baking rack in the middle. Bake cookies for about 17 to 18 minutes, or until just starting to brown on top. Remove from oven and cool completely.

How to Assemble Italian Cookies

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate chips in 10 to 15-second intervals, stirring occasionally until the chocolate chips have melted half way (about 2 minutes). Then, continue stirring until the rest of them have melted completely.

  2. Spread 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate onto the bottom half of the cookies. Cover with the other half and press to adhere. Allow to sit undisturbed until the chocolate has set, about 30 minutes. 

Recipe Notes

To Make Gluten Free Italian Cookies:

Replace the all-purpose flour (1 cup) and the cornstarch (4 Tbsp) with the same amount of rice flour (1 cup 4 tbsp).

Whole Hazelnut Substitution: 

Start out with 2 cups of whole hazelnuts and grind them yourself, or replace whole hazelnuts with the same amount by weight (240 g) of hazelnut or even almond flour.

To make smaller Baci di Dama:

Cut the dough into 8 pieces and refrigerate. Remove one piece of dough from the fridge and roll it out to about 10-inch long rope, next cut it into about 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a marble sized ball. Reduce baking time to about 10 minutes. Fill with only about 1/2 a tsp or less of chocolate. 

Nutrition Facts
Italian Cookies - Baci di Dama
Amount Per Serving
Calories 117 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 7mg 2%
Sodium 15mg 1%
Potassium 69mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 5g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 1.8%
Vitamin C 0.5%
Calcium 1.1%
Iron 4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Italian cookies stacked on a platter

Aside from being amazingly good any time of the year, these Italian Cookies are always a hit at holiday cookie exchanges or cookie platters.

What is your favorite holiday cookie?

Marina | Let the Baking Begin!

Hey! Marina from "Let the Baking Begin" here - your go-to destination for all things baked, sweet and delicious. Come, join my family on a tasting journey through our favorite recipes!

Read more posts by Marina

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Viktoriya T.
    December 28, 2018

    Can i use almond flour instead of hazelnut flour? Reply

    • Natasha
      December 28, 2018

      Hi Viktoriya, yes! There are notes on this substitution in the recipe above. I hope you love these Italian cookies! Reply

  • Barbara
    December 26, 2018

    Best cookies ever! Made these for the first time this year and they quickly disappeared. Looks like I’m going to have to add them to the traditional Christmas cookie list. And I think I’m going to have to make another batch sooner than for Christmas 2019 — like maybe as a special request for someone’s birthday dinner! My only challenge is finding hazelnuts. Have to make a special trip to Trader Joe’s for them, because they are not readily found in local supermarkets. Never mind, the trip is well worth it. Thank you, Natasha, for sharing this recipe! Reply

  • Nikki
    December 22, 2018

    My dough was crumbling. Is that ok? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 22, 2018

      Hi Nikki, I haven’t experienced that, at which point was it crumbling? after baking? Did you make any changes to the recipe? Reply

  • December 18, 2018

    This is the perfect treat for the holidays. Reply

  • Suzy
    December 16, 2018

    Hi Natasha,

    Thank you for this wonderful cookie recipe. I was wondering if you could also post a recipe for Christmas butter cookies to make cutout cookies.

    Thank you!! Happy Holidays! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 16, 2018

      Hi Suzy, we have several recipes here that you may enjoy. 🙂 Reply

  • Nikki
    December 16, 2018

    Hi Natasha, thanks for posting this recipe. Just want to ask the equivalent of 5oz of butter in tablespoons.
    I appreciate your response,
    Nikki Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 16, 2018

      Hi Nikki, one stick of butter is 4 ounces. Those 4 ounces are divided into 8 tablespoons. Based on that, 5 ounces would equal ten tablespoons. I hope this helps. Reply

  • Olya B
    December 14, 2018

    Hi Natasha! Just want to say thank you for this awesome recipe. They just melt in the mouth, they are great cookies for the holidays! My family loves them! Reply

    • Natasha
      December 14, 2018

      Hi Olya, I’m so glad to hear that your family loved these Italian cookies!! Thank you for sharing your awesome review 🙂 Reply

  • Alla
    December 12, 2018

    Soooo… good,
    Thank you for sharing recipe. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 12, 2018

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it! Reply

  • Yelena
    December 12, 2018

    I made these cookies. Followed recipe to the tee. Used roasted skinned hazelnuts from Costco. These cookies came up perfect shape wise but they are too crunchy. Next day they got even harder. Nobody cared for these cookies in my family including me. 😔 Reply

    • Natasha
      December 13, 2018

      Hi Yelena, I’m sorry to hear that – it could be due to overbaking which can dry them out. Not all ovens are created equal and some will heat stronger. Also, make sure you are using the regular bake mode and not “convection” which will cook them faster. Reply

  • Natalya
    December 8, 2018

    It is still confusing in substituting almond flour. For a cup of regular flour in the recipe, how many cups of almond/hazelnut flour (not hazelnuts)?… Reply

    • Natasha
      December 10, 2018

      Hi Natalya, this recipe is intended to have some all-purpose flour in it which you can sub with rice flour to make them gluten free, but if subbing for almond flour, you would use the same amount by weight which is 240 grams. Reply

  • dave
    December 7, 2018

    Gluten free :
    Corn starch should be fine. I’d suggest a 1 to 1 GF flour mix or a GF flour mixture vs rice flour. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 7, 2018

      Thank you for that suggestion! Reply

  • Anna
    December 6, 2018

    Hi, Natasha. Do you think I could just use a hazelnut spread such as nutella for the center in place of the chocolate? Reply

    • Natasha
      December 6, 2018

      Hi Anna, I think that would work great! Sounds delicious! I hope you love these Baci di Dama Italian Cookies 🙂 Reply

  • Becky Hardin
    December 5, 2018

    OH I need like 10 of these to snack on tonight!!! LOL
    They look so so good. Reply

    • Natasha
      December 5, 2018

      Thank you Becky!! These Italian cookies really are quite a treat! Reply

  • Jennifer
    December 5, 2018

    These cookies are so good!! Reply

    • Natasha
      December 5, 2018

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the Baci di Dama! Thank you Jennifer! 🙂 Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 5, 2018

      I’m so glad you enjoyed these! Reply

  • Salli
    December 5, 2018

    Hi Natasha, for some odd reason, I can cook a gourmet meal but have always failed at baking even a store bought box, my cookies come out disaster, what is your advice? Please help! Reply

    • Natasha
      December 5, 2018

      Hi Salli, a good, tested recipe can make all the difference. Also, try to avoid the temptation to alter a recipe (that is usually what gets me in trouble) 🙂 Reply

  • Marta
    December 5, 2018

    Could you share some instructions on roasting and skinning the hazelnuts? I’ve never skinned them and am not sure how that works! Reply

    • Hi Marta,

      The best way to roast hazelnuts is to spread them on a baking sheet and bake @ 325F for about 12-15 minutes, tossing often. I start checking on them from around 10 minutes and remove them when they’re to desired doneness.

      Next, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Transfer the nuts to a ziplock bag and rub them from the outside to remove the skins. Now shake the bag until all skins fall to the bottom. Remove the nuts from the bag leaving the skins behind. Reply

  • Jeanette Paisley
    December 5, 2018

    You say that these can be made with store-bought hazelnut or almond flour as this will give a more tender resulting Italian cookie. But the recipe calls for 2 cups of hazelnuts. I don’t think that 2 cups of hazelnuts ground will yield the same amount of flour. That is, 2 cups of hazelnuts will not yield 2 cups of flour, or am I wrong? So, if I use store bought hazelnut flour, how much should I use? Reply

    • Hi Jeanette,
      Good point!

      If the hazelnut flour is scooped with a measuring cup, that packs it in and the weight gets close to what it would be for filling it with whole hazelnuts.

      To avoid confusion, I guess it would be correct to say to just use equal amounts by weight, which is 10.5 oz (for 2 cups). Reply

  • Ann Harmon
    December 5, 2018

    When you said you can use almond flour, is that to replace hazelnuts or wheat flour? I have almond flour in my cupboard from making macarons. Reply

  • December 5, 2018

    Our cup of tea ! Grazie milla 🙂 Reply

  • Alli
    December 5, 2018

    These are amazing. Love them and can’t get enough. Can’t wait to make them for my family for Christmas. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 5, 2018

      I hope you all love them!! Thank you for that great review, Alli! Reply

  • Sabrina
    December 5, 2018

    I know these will quickly become a family favorite! Adding these to my baking list. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 5, 2018

      Sounds like you found a new favorite! Thank you for that wonderful review, Sabrina! Reply

  • Laura ~ Raise Your Garden
    December 5, 2018

    I’m not Italian but LOVE making Italian cookies. But everyone born and bred in Buffalo is supposed to at least cook like an Italian or a good Polish gal! Thanks for the tip on the chilled butter. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 5, 2018

      My pleasure, Laura! I’m so happy I could help! Reply

  • Sarah
    December 5, 2018

    These cookies are incredible! I love chocolate and hazelnut! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 5, 2018

      I’m so happy to hear you loved these!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review! Reply

  • Maria
    December 5, 2018

    Could these cookies be frozen? Reply

    • Yes, the cookies can be frozen just like any other cookies. Just make sure to keep them in an airtight container when you do. Reply

  • Alla
    December 4, 2018

    Hi Natasha,
    you’ve mentioned that almond flour can be used in this recipe. How much of the almond flour should be used? Thank you for sharing your recipes. Reply

    • December 5, 2018

      Hi Alla,
      Use the same exact amount as you would use hazelnut flour, so in this recipe, it would be about 2 cups. Reply

  • Natalie
    December 4, 2018

    Hi Marina,
    These cookies look so delicious. I look forward to making them for Christmas. Would you be able to share about how far ahead these cookies can be made without filling them? How should they be stored when unfilled and filled? And how long do they last?
    Thank you for sharing this recipe with us. Reply

    • December 5, 2018

      Thank you Natalie!

      Since the filling is just pure chocolate, the cookies can be filled and stored at room temperature covered for up to about a week. They are best eaten fresh, within a couple of days though.

      The storage time does not change regardless if they’re filled or not.

      Happy Holidays! Reply

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