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Pan dei Morti-Bread of the Dead Cookies

A typical Italian 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
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Chocolate, Cookies
Servings: 36 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup dried figs or dates
  • 1 1/2 cups almonds or hazelnuts toasted and ground
  • 1/4 cup Nocino or another Italian liqueur, or even orange juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups ground lady finger cookies
  • 1 cup ground amaretti cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs 3 egg yolks, 2 whole eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • On a baking sheet, toast the almonds for about 5 minutes. When they are cool, grind them (you could use hazelnuts or a mixture of almonds and hazelnuts); set aside.
  • In a small bowl, soak the raisins and dried figs in the liqueur.
  • Place the amaretti and lady fingers in the bowl of the food processor and finely grind them; set aside.
  • Reserve the liqueur from the dried fruit and grind the raisins and dried figs; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and spices. Whisk in the ground cookies; set aside. Be sure to stop the mixture while mixing to scape the sides of the bowl.
  • In the bowl of a mixer, add sugar, the eggs, egg whites and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  • Slowly add in the flour mixture. Mix until combined.
  • Add in the dried fruit and a tablespoon of the liqueur. Keep adding the liqueur a teaspoon at a time until dough is combined (the dough shouldn’t be too wet).
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.
  • Lightly flour the counter or a pastry board. Cut the dough into 6 parts. Flour your fingers if it helps you work with the dough. Roll the first part of the dough into a rope that is about 18 inches long. Cut the rope into 2 parts.
  • Cut the first section of dough into pieces that are 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).
  • Continue the process with the other parts of the dough.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.