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When planning a trip to Northern Italy, it didn't occur to me stop in Turin, a city best known for the 2006 Winter Olympics, Fiat cars, and a mystical shroud that's supposedly embossed with Jesus' face. Luckily I had a friend who had spent a year there as a student, and he alerted me to a fact that makes Turin perhaps the most desirable city in Italy: it's the home of Gianduja.
The thought of stuffing my face with a variety of chocolate-hazelnut sweets was more than enough to lure me to the city, especially when I learned it's only about an hour and a half by train from Milan. A day in Turin quickly proved that the city has a lot to offer besides gianduja, though of course my focus was primarily still on the sweets.
One such treat was Baci di Dama, or "lady kisses", a sandwich cookie that is traditional to the region of Piemonte. These small, round cookies typically include ground almonds (though hazelnuts are occasionally used) and they're sandwiched around a smooth chocolate filling.
Though the traditional baci are amazing, I've given them a little makeover for Valentine's Day. The cookies now include chocolate and a hint of espresso, which make them just a bit richer and sexier.
Instead of chocolate ganache, I've sandwiched the cookies around raspberry jam. So give a box of these petite chocolate cookies to someone you love. I'm sure you'll get real kisses in return.
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