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  • Lucia Borzillo

Ossa dei Morti - Bones of the Dead Cookies

Monday, November 2, is All Soul's Day. This recipe is from Cooking with Nonna, A Year of Italian Holidays. I had this book out because it seems that thanks to Covid Chris and I will be celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas alone. The book had a lot of classic recipes for any Italian holiday. I was flipping through the book and this recipe caught my eye.

The finished product looked just like what the cookbook photo was. They are crisp to say the least, almost crunchy. But the cloves! The aroma when they were baking brought Chris up from the family room to see what the smell was. It was intoxicating.

I mixed the dough this morning before I left for work and cut the cookies out and left them securely covered on top of the stove. I popped them in the oven after dinner and Friday Night Baking has been never so easy!


2 1/2 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour

1lb (454 g) Confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon of ground cloves

zest of 1 lemon

4 large eggs, beaten


Line 3 cookie sheets with a parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, Confectioners' sugar, ground cloves. grated lemon zest.

Lightly flour a clean counter or a pastry board. Flour your hands and the dough and knead by hand for 5 minutes, until a ball of dough forms. The dough may be sticky.

Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll each into a rope about one inch thick. Cut it into 1 1/2 inch pieces and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. (The sugar from the cookies will spread out so you want room between them.

Cover the baking sheets with clean kitchen towels and let reas at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350˚.

Bake until the internal sugar of the cookies come out and resembles white meringue, between 17 and 22 minutes. Cool before handling.

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