Our Italian inspired Halloween begins on October 31 and ends with a two day celebration that goes beyond the traditional treat or treat. In Italy the day after Halloween, November 1st (All Saints’s Day) and November 2nd (All Soul’s Day) are celebrated as feast days to honor the saints and souls of those who have passed on. A celebration of life more than death, Italians commemorate the time with Ossa dei Morti, “Bones of the Dead“, cookies whose shape, coloring and texture look like a bone.
The ingredients used to make this traditional dolci of the dead vary from region to region. In Lombardia and Piemonte they are made with powdered almond macaroons, sweet wine, dried fruit, chocolate, pignoli, and spices. In other regions they are a hard meringue biscotti studded with nuts that crackle like crunching bones when you take a bite. Some are seasoned with anise and fennel, others with cloves, lemon or cinnamon.
Either way these “bone” cookies are a seasonal treat and a dear and special way to remember those who have gone before us.