Pan dei Morti-Bread of the Dead Cookies

– 1 cup raisins – 1 cup dried figs or dates – 1 ½ cups almonds or hazelnuts toasted and ground – ½ cup Nocino or another Italian liqueur, or even orange juice – 2 cups all-purpose flour – 2 teaspoons baking powder – ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder – 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon – ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg – 2 cups ground lady finger cookies – 1 cup ground amaretti cookies – 1½ cups sugar – 5 eggs 3 egg yolks, 2 whole eggs – 1 teaspoon vanilla – confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Cook Time: 15  min


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36 cookies


Italian Dessert

prep Time

15 mins


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A typical Italian Fall cookie that is hard and crunchy and full of warm spices. This is a cookie that varies from region to region in Italy and is eaten to remember loved ones that have left us on All Soul's Day. This particular recipe for Pan dei Morti is a specialty of the Lombardy region of Italy.

How do you make bones of the dead cookies (Pan dei Morti, Bread of the Dead) 1. First you need to grind the almonds. Soak the dried fruit in the wine. 2. Cream the sugar, vanilla and eggs. 3.Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. 4.Mix together the dry and wet ingredients and the Italian liqueur (if you’re using it). 4.Chill the dough. 5.When dough is ready to bake, roll into logs first long log in half, and then cut it into small sections. 6.Cut each piece about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. Line them up with some space between them on the first baking sheet. Press down a little on each cookie and fix their shapes (the dough can be messy). 7.Continue the process with the other parts of the dough. Bake for about 15 minutes. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.

What region of Italy is this pan dei morti from? This particular recipe is from the Lombardy region (where my in-laws live). In Lombard dialect it’s called oss de mord. What countries eat almond flavored cookies called Bones of the Dead Cookies? The bones of the dead cookies (ossa di morto) can be found at bakeries only for the All Soul’s Day (Day of the Dead) holiday in Italy (and many other countries, like Spain).


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