"Caffe` Italia" by Liz Franklin is one of my more recent cookbook acquisitions. Liz Franklin is the author of 11 cookery books and runs a small bed and breakfast in Abruzzo, Italy where she also conducts cookery lessons. The one time winner of UK Masterchef, Liz is also a freelance writer and food stylist. This gorgeous cookbook is filled with 30 delicious recipes and heaps of information on the Italian coffee culture and making great coffee at home.
On the front cover is a bowl of mouthwatering cookies - Baci di Dama and what better place to start baking from this book than the front cover. I did alter these a little using ground hazelnuts as well as ground almonds mainly because that's what I had. Also I doubled the quantity thinking that 20 biscuits weren't going to last long in my house!! And I wasn't wrong. These buttery biscuits are irresistible! Liz suggests using Nutella as a filling if you are short on time.
Baci di Dama (adapted from Caffe` Italia by Liz Franklin)
200g butter, softened
200g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
100g ground hazelnuts
Chocolate butter filling
100g 72% dark chocolate, broken
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Work ing the ground almonds, hazelnuts and flour until the mixture forms a stiff dough. Break off 40 pieces the size of walnuts and form into balls. Arrange on baking sheets, leaving a little room between each. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden. remove from the oven and transfer to wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, melt chocolate in a bowl wet over a saucepan of gently simmering water ( microwave on low power stirring occasionally until melted). Remove from heat stir in the butter and leave to cool. When the biscuits are cool use the chocolate butter to sandwich them together.