C'Mon....Give me a Bacio (kiss)!

Sometimes worlds collide. When this can happen in a way that doesn't involve the alarming effects of gravity literally pulling me down to the ground (or into a wall) and causing me harm, I love it.

It's rare, let me tell you. But sometimes these worlds collide in a most wonderful and advantageous way, as in this case, on which I am about to elaborate.

Many of you know I'm a graphic designer by day (check the About Section, peeps!), and if you haven't figured out by this time that I love food, I will really need to check your pulse.

I work at a studio called Square Root Creative where I am the Creative Director/Graphic designer/Hungriest Person in the Room/Champion Gum Chewer. And at this studio, we had the opportunity to acquire a food client – an ITALIAN food client.

Our client is Perugina, an Italian chocolate producer originally hailing from the beautiful, mountainous Umbrian town of Perugia. Perugia's specialty is truffles and chocolate. I am currently on a one-way flight there.

No! I'm sitting in my apartment.

At Square Root Creative, we had the opportunity to completely redesign the United States Perugina website, featuring as the star, the famous "Baci".

Baci are a chocolate confection produced by Perugina. A truffle-like assembly of dark chocolate ganache coating an inner core of chopped hazelnuts and milk chocolate that is an Italian sweetness party in your mouth. It's like a nutty, chocolate mini-slider.

Eataly recently sponsored an event demonstrating how Baci are made:

The above hazelnuts are awaiting their position on beds of milk chocolate and chopped nuts featured below:

Finally the whole contraption is dipped into tempered dark chocolate:

According to legend Baci was created on Valentine's Day in 1922, and since then has been a traditional Valentine's gift in Italian households.

Since Valentine's Day is tomorrow, and the Perugina site is now live, I thought I would show it off to you all. I worked with a wonderful group of designers, managers and programmers who all contributed to this site. I was also responsible for all of the product photography. All the photos you see in the "Products" section are mine!

So we've got food, Italian food, design, and chocolate. Did you feel the earth shake right then, or was it only me?

Anyway! As an added bonus, the new site offers recipes featuring Perugina products. So for today's post I have recreated the Baci Pancakes (original recipe found here). However, I modified it a bit in my usual fashion. The result was an intensely fluffy, cookie-like pancake with tangy cherries and excellent chocolate hazel flavor. And it was ever-so-slightly healthier. A teeny bit...

What You Need:

1 egg

2/4 cup soy milk (you can use regular milk if you like)

1/2 all purpose cup flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 oats

1/2 cup chopped dried cherries

3 teaspoons sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 chopped Baci*

*Note: the Baci will be easier to chop if they are cold

What To Do:

Mix all the dry ingredients together until they are well combined.

Add in the egg and the soy milk (or regular milk) and mix until a thick batter forms.

Lightly coat a griddle or frying pan with oil or butter and heat until hot.

Drop generous 1/4 cup of batter onto grill per pancake. Brown on one side, then flip and brown other side.

Can be served with syrup, butter or just sprinkled with powered sugar.