Baci Di Dama (Hazelnut Meringue Sandwich Cookies)
The name for these small hazelnut meringue sandwiches filled with milk chocolate means "lady's kisses" in Italian.
Yield: makes About 3 Dozen
- 6 oz. blanched whole hazelnuts
- 1 cup sugar
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> tsp. kosher salt
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>3</sub> cup cornstarch
- 2 egg whites
- 4 oz. milk chocolate, melted
- Heat oven to 325°. Place hazelnuts, ½ cup sugar, and salt in a food processor, and process until nuts are finely ground. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in cornstarch; set aside. Beat egg whites in a large bowl on high speed of a mixer until soft peaks form; slowly add remaining sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form. Add hazelnut mixture, and gently fold with a rubber spatula until evenly combined. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a ⅜" plain tip, and pipe about 3 dozen ½" mounds of batter onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake until dried and lightly browned, about 16 minutes. Dip the bottoms of half the cookies with chocolate and sandwich with remaining plain cookies; let chocolate set before serving, about 5 minutes.
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