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Italian Dead Bone Cookies

These crunchy little cookies get their name (Dead Bone Cookies - Ossi dei Morti) from their resemblance to bones. On All Souls' Day, many Italian families bake them at home or buy them at shops and markets. Ossi dei morti are simple to make and fun to eat! Try serving them with hot chocolate or coffee for a sweet snack.

Italian Dead Bone Cookies
Prepare time 20-25 min.
Chilling time 10-15 min.
Serves 2 dozen
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  • 23 c. sugar
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. ground almonds or pistachios (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets.
  2. Combine sugar, butter, and eggs in a medium sized bowl. Add the flour gradually, beating until smooth. Add the vanilla and nuts and mix well.
  3. Break off small pieces of dough (about 1 tbsp. each), and form them into skinny, bone like shapes. Place them 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets.
  4. Bake 10 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheets with a spatula and cool on a wire rack.
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