To learn more about this recipe, read the related story, "Equal Rights," in Tasting Table's Los Angeles edition.
These sophisticated "man kisses" contain ground hazelnuts and cocoa: Think Nutella meets shortbread. The cookies have a sandy texture and are excellent alongside an espresso.
Baci d'Uomo (Chocolate-Hazelnut "Man Kisses")
Recipe adapted from Shannon Swindle, Craft, Los Angeles
Yield: 3 dozen
Cook Time: 45 minutes
¾ cup skinned hazelnuts
½ cup granulated sugar, divided
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. On a rimmed baking sheet, place the hazelnuts and bake until fragrant and toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a large plate to cool completely, about 1 hour.
2. Transfer the hazelnuts to the bowl of a food processor. Add 3 tablespoons sugar and process until the hazelnuts are finely ground.
3. To a fine-mesh sieve, add the flour and cocoa and sift into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter, ground hazelnut-sugar mixture, remaining 5 tablespoons sugar and the sea salt and mix on medium-low speed until well combined. The dough will be very crumbly, but when squeezed together should hold together.
4. Use a tablespoon or ½-ounce scoop to portion the dough, and carefully roll and compact the dough into a small ball in your hands. Place the balls 1-inch apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake until just firm on top, 12 to 15 minutes (the cookies will crisp as they cool). Cool on a wire rack and repeat with the remaining cookie dough.
Make Ahead: The dough can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days before baking.
Storing: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.