By Angela Denstad Stigeler
Mistletoe enthusiasts and last-minute gift-from-the-kitchen givers will delight in this simple homespun version of a popular Italian chocolate. Known as baci in the plural, the bacio is the Italian chocolate “kiss.” They’re rich and indulgent, filled with all forms and permutations of chocolate and hazelnuts—from the nutella and chopped hazelnuts inside to the whole hazelnut on top and the chocolate coating.
The store-bought ones are known not only for their good taste, but also for the sayings of love and friendship—often quotations of classic poetry—found inside each wrapper. Making them yourself means you can personalize each little love note, should you choose to wrap your kisses in words. If you don’t wish to wrap or gift them, enjoy them in person and rest assured, your kisses will speak for themselves. Once you’ve given your loved ones a little confectionery affection, you’ll see how they’ll all come back for one more kiss.
3/4 cup (3.5 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
3/4 cup (3.5 ounces) chopped and roasted hazelnuts
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) nutella or homemade nutella
20 roasted whole hazelnuts
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Take off the heat and add the chopped hazelnuts and Nutella. Let cool slightly, then place the mixture in the refrigerator until firm enough to handle.
Working with a tablespoon at a time, roll the mixture into balls. Add a hazelnut on top, pressing down to adhere. Refrigerate the candies until firm.
Meanwhile, melt the 4 ounces of chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat or in a double boiler, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Off the heat, dip the candies in the melted chocolate. Place the coated balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet to harden. Store at room temperature.
Optional serving suggestion: Write or type a short note onto thin paper and place in the center of a 3-inch square of florists foil or other thin wrapping material. Place the message and wrapper on top of the chocolate and gently cover.