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Halloween cookies from Sicily - Sicilian bones of the dead cookies

“Ossa dei Morti” are Halloween cookies with a very hard consistency, which recall real bones and are given to children on All Souls' Day. The dead bones are simple and crispy biscuits of flour and sugar flavored with cinnamon and cloves. They are typical Sicilian biscuits and in some areas they are called "nucatuli" or "mustazzoli". They consist of two parts of different consistency and color: the lower part is dark and hard, while the upper part is white and crumbly.


650 g of sugar 500 g of all purpose flour 150 ml of water one teaspoon of cinnamon powder one teaspoon of ground cloves icing sugar to garnish

PREPARATION Make the sugar syrup by melting the sugar into hot water. It is not important that the sugar dissolves completely. Mix the flour, cinnamon and cloves on a pastry board, adding the sugar syrup to a homogeneous, smooth and firm mixture. Quickly work the dough forming a 3 cm thick strand and cut it into pieces of about 5 cm giving each piece the shape of a bone. Place the dead bones on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and cover the pan with a veil leaving to rest for an overnight to allow the sugar present within the dough to harden on the surface. Moist the cookies with water and put in preheated oven at 180 ° C for 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove the pan from the oven and let the dead bones cool to room temperature before sprinkling with icing sugar.

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