Romeo’s Sighs and Juliet’s Kisses: Italian Sandwich Cookies

Posted February 26, 2015 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Romeo and Juliet (Feb. 2015) / 4 Comments


When I first decided to do a Romeo and Juliet menu, I was a little worried about finding a suitable dessert. Anything blatantly romantic seemed too cliche, so I was determined to steer clear of anything heart-shaped. I was so excited when I stumbled across these little Italian sandwich cookies!

In modern day Verona, toasted almond and chocolate sandwich cookies referred to as Sospri di Romeo and Baci di Giulietta (Romeos Sighs and Juliet’s Kisses) are sold in pastry shops in honor of the Shakespeare characters. Traditionally, the dessert is sold in mixed bags of almond sandwich cookies and chocolate sandwich cookies, but I like how some some bakers combine the two cookie flavors into one sandwich. I used the Romeo and Juliet cookie recipes provided by Deborah at Italian Food Forever (she refers to both types as “kisses,” rather than “sighs and kisses”).

As if awesome Shakespeare cookies weren’t enough, this article from Food Lover’s Odyssey gives a list of other great reasons to visit Verona.

 

Romeo’s Sighs and Juliet’s Kisses

“I dreamt my lady came and found me dead–
Strange dream, that gives a dead man leave
to think!–
And breathed such life with kisses in my lips,
That I revived, and was an emperor.
Ah me! how sweet is love itself possess’d,
When but love’s shadows are so rich in joy!
— Romeo and Juliet

INGREDIENTS:

For Romeo’s Sighs:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups flour

For Juliet’s Kisses:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract (the original recipe calls for vanilla, but I used almond to complement the Romeo cookies)
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup finely ground toasted almonds (to finely grind the almonds, I recommend putting them in a food processor for 1-2 minutes)

For the Filling:

  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup finely ground toasted almonds

 

Makes 2 dozen sandwich cookies

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°.
  2. First we’ll mix the Romeo cookie dough. First, whisk the butter and powdered sugar for the Romeo cookies together in a medium bowl. Add the salt and almond extract and stir until smooth. Whisk in the flour until just combined. Shape the dough into 1″ balls and set at least 1″ apart on a baking sheet that has either been buttered or lined with a silicon mat. Bake them in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until well set (the edges may brown slightly).

  3. While the Romeo cookies bake, prepare the Juliet cookie dough. Whisk the butter and powdered sugar for the Juliet cookies together in another medium bowl. Add the salt and vanilla or almond extract and stir until smooth. Whisk in the flour and cocoa powder until the cocoa powder is evenly distributed. Stir in 1/3 cup of the ground almonds. Shape the dough into 1″ balls and set at least 1″ apart on another buttered or silicon-lined baking sheet.

  4. When the Romeo cookies are fully baked, remove them from the oven and bake the Juliet cookies for 10-12 minutes.

    The cookies will be VERY delicate when just out of the oven, so allow them to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before gently removing them to a wire wrack to cool completely.
  5. While the cookies cool, you can make your filling. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Then stir in the remaining ground almonds.

    If you don’t have a double boiler, simmer some water in a pot and place an oven-safe ceramic bowl over the top. Just make sure there’s about an inch of empty space between the top of the water and the bottom of the bowl.
  6. When the cookies are completely cooled, gently spread the filling onto the flat side of all the chocolate cookies. Place an almond cookie on top.

    Don’t be afraid to lay it on thick—the filling is the best part! Plus, it’s dense enough that you shouldn’t be in danger of it oozing down the sides of the cookie.
  7. Serve as a travel snack to the love of your life while touring the streets of Verona!

    These can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days…but they might be gone before then. 😉

 

 

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Here’s the Yummly printable!

Romeo’s Sighs and Juliet’s Kisses: Italian Sandwich Cookies

Makes 2 dozen sandwich cookies

Ingredients

    For Romeo's Sighs:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • For Juliet's Kisses:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract (the original recipe calls for vanilla, but I used almond to complement the Romeo cookies)
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup finely ground toasted almonds (to finely grind the almonds, I recommend putting them in a food processor for 1-2 minutes)
  • For the Filling:
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup finely ground toasted almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°.
  2. First we'll mix the Romeo cookie dough. First, whisk the butter and powdered sugar for the Romeo cookies together in a medium bowl. Add the salt and almond extract and stir until smooth. Whisk in the flour until just combined. Shape the dough into 1" balls and set at least 1" apart on a baking sheet that has either been buttered or lined with a silicon mat. Bake them in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until well set (the edges may brown slightly).
  3. While the Romeo cookies bake, prepare the Juliet cookie dough. Whisk the butter and powdered sugar for the Juliet cookies together in another medium bowl. Add the salt and vanilla or almond extract and stir until smooth. Whisk in the flour and cocoa powder until the cocoa powder is evenly distributed. Stir in 1/3 cup of the ground almonds. Shape the dough into 1" balls and set at least 1" apart on another buttered or silicon-lined baking sheet.
  4. When the Romeo cookies are fully baked, remove them from the oven and bake the Juliet cookies for 10-12 minutes.
  5. The cookies will be VERY delicate when just out of the oven, so allow them to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before gently removing them to a wire wrack to cool completely.
  6. While the cookies cool, you can make your filling. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Then stir in the remaining ground almonds.
  7. When the cookies are completely cooled, gently spread the filling onto the flat side of all the chocolate cookies. Place an almond cookie on top.
  8. Serve as a travel snack to the love of your life while touring the streets of Verona!

Notes

Try to avoid rolling the dough when shaping the balls, as that can apply too much pressure, causing the balls to crack. Instead, pass the dough from hand to hand, shaping it into a ball with light pressure.

If you don't have a double boiler, simmer some water in a pot and place an oven-safe ceramic bowl over the top. Just make sure there's about an inch of empty space between the top of the water and the bottom of the bowl.

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