Pan die Morti

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

Pan die Morti

Serves: 36 Time: 00:30 Skill:

Often called fave dei morti (“beans of the dead”) due to their oval shape, these chewy little Halloween biscuits are eaten by many Italian families on All Souls’ Day (Commemorazione dei defunti) on 2 November. Made with ground-up almonds, pine nuts, cinnamon, and lemon zest, they’re a treat capable of making even a savory person’s mouth water.


  • 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 ladyfinger 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


  • 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 ladyfingers 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 scrape 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 the 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.
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