Baci di Dama (Lady’s Kisses) from St. John Armenian Church Women’s Guild


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Baci di Dama (“Lady’s Kisses) are melt-in-your-mouth Italian hazelnut cookies joined together with some good chocolate. This recipe comes from In the Cookie Jar, the cookie booklet created for the 2020 Holiday Bake Box held by the Women’s Guild of St. John Armenian Church in Southfield.

“We made a total of 5,700 cookies and Armenian sweets for our sold-out fundraiser,” says Denise Boyagian, Women’s Guild Chairman. Normally we would get together and bake in the church kitchen, but we couldn’t because of the pandemic. Instead, our members baked in their homes and, in small groups working in shifts, assembled the boxes in our cultural hall. This was done while observing safe distance practices distributed by our parish’s Medical Advisory Committee. It was a bake sale like no other.”

Baci di Dama are delicious served with hot coffee or tea — and they make the perfect gift for special occasions and holiday cookie platters. The In the Cookie Jar booklet contains recipes for Armenian favorites like simit, nazook, and khurabia, plus Christmas cookies and new favorites like Lemon Nut Wafers, Fruitcake Cookies (even fruitcake-haters love these), Earl Grey slice-and-bake, Polish Butter Cookies with Jam, and more.


1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (2 1/2 oz.)

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1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut 1/2-in. pieces and chilled

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips



Adjust oven racks to upper middle and lower middle positions and heat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Process hazelnuts, flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add butter and vanilla and process until dough comes together, about 30 seconds. Transfer dough to counter and divide into four pieces. Working with one piece at a time, press into a 10” by 1” rope. Cut the rope into 20 half-inch pieces, then roll the pieces into balls and space them 1” apart on prepared sheets.

Repeat with remaining dough. Bake until edges are lightly browned,10-12 minutes, switching and rotating pans halfway through baking. Allow cookies to cool completely on trays before touching them as they’ll be very soft and will need to harden before filling.

Microwave chocolate chips in small bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread 1/4 teaspoon chocolate over bottom of half of cookies then top with remaining cookies, pressing lightly to adhere.  Let chocolate set about 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 40 sandwich cookies. These cookies may be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

The In the Cookie Jar recipe booklet is available for $7.00 each plus free shipping. To order, go to:

Also available on the Women’s Guild website:

Armenian Cuisine: Preserving Our Heritage Cookbook

Over 450 tested recipes from the Detroit metropolitan Armenian community, updated using modern techniques and equipment. Detailed description of cooking and baking methods including tips for preparation. $35 with free shipping.


Pomegranate Apron

With 2 handy pockets and adjustable straps. Great for the kitchen, garage, or garden. $20 with free shipping.


Consider a Donation to Support the Mission of the Women’s Guild of St. John Armenian Church: Women’s Guild strives to nurture fellowship and service to our Church and community through a variety of activities and events. Your funds will help us continue outreach activities in Armenia such as sponsoring orphans and supporting Mer Doon, which provides young women with a safe home and instructs them in life skills.

For information, contact:

Women’s Guild of St. John Armenian Church

22001 Northwestern Highway

Southfield, Michigan 48075

Tel: (248) 569-3405



90 years in Greater Detroit (1931-2021)

Copyright © 2021 Women’s Guild of St. John Armenian Church.

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