Baci di Caffè

In looking for a good recipe for the classic Italian cookie, Brutti ma Buoni, they all differed so vastly in ingredients and quantities – I became reluctant to try any of them. Then… I found this.

Similar enough to what I was looking for, and from a trusted source, I decided to give it a try. I mean, why wouldn’t I trust someone who’s an award winning restaurateur and cookbook author? That… and I’ve tried enough of his recipes to know their worth.

I often get asked about sources for recipes, and naturally many people turn to the internet. I caution them and say… make sure it’s from a ‘trusted source’. By that, I mean a chef, business, (food blogger!!) that you’re familiar with, and have tried out some of their stuff.

This, apparently is Jacob Kennedy’s best guess at what is served in what many consider to be THE place for coffee in Rome – none other than il caffè sant’eustachio just behind the Pantheon.  I can vouch for their coffee. You know it’s gonna be damn good, when they roast the beans on-site!

No surprise, these are absolute perfection with a hit of espresso~


Baci di Caffè

The recipe describes them as: “like the French macaron, these are crunchy on the outside with soft, gooey middles – just less so and more so respectively”. I really like that this chef has tried to replicate these little cookies… how wonderful for us!!! Will have to check these out on my next trip to Rome~

Makes about 30 tiny cookies.

3 large egg whites
Generous 1 cup, superfine sugar
1/2 cup pus 2 TBSP blanched skin off hazelnuts
Scant 3 TBSP finely ground coffee (I used espresso powder)
Scant 1/2 cup good unsweetened coca powder

Preheat your oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks with a tablespoon of the sugar. Put all remaining ingredients in a food processor and grind to a fine powder, then fold the ground nut mix into the egg whites.

Put the mixture into a piping bag with a wide tip, to pipe onto your baking sheets. You can also use silicone petits-fours moulds if you have any. The mixture will be very soft, and get softer as it sits in room temperature. Handle the piping bag gently and be sure to leave 1 – 1 1/2 inches between each little back, as they will spread. (If hey happen to bake together, cut them neatly with a knife, once they’re cooled.

Bake for just about 8 minutes, or until a thin and unconvincing crust has formed on the outside. Let cool before removing from baking sheet and lightly dust them with icing sugar. You can leave out this step as it’s more for decoration – they’re plenty sweet on their own.

To make superfine sugar, blitz regular sugar in your food processor for about 20 seconds.
If you don’t want to pipe them, you could probably form these by ‘dropping’ with a teaspoon, but beware the dough is quite sticky & soft.