Osso Di Morti De Volterra (Day Of The Dead Cookies Of Volterra)

Osso Di Morti are made all over Italy for All Souls Day on November 1st, but at Migliorini Pasticceria in Volterra these delicious cookies are made throughout the year!

Be sure to try these wonderful, chewy, meringue based cookies. Volterra will not disappoint you!

The Recipe

by volume                                         by weight

1¾ cups almond flour              170 grams almond flour

2 large egg whites                     100 grams egg whites

1 cup sugar                                    198 grams sugar

1½ cups all purpose flour      180 grams all purpose flour

1 teaspoon yeast                       3 grams yeast

1 tablespoon lemon zest       6 grams lemon zest



Heat the oven to 350F. Beat the egg whites and the sugar to stiff, glossy peaks. This is a lot of sugar to incorporate into 2 whites so give it time. This will not be as light as regular meringue and will have a texture a bit more like marshmallow fluff though not as heavy.

Stir in the yeast and the lemon zest and then the flour and the ground nuts.

Form the dough (it will be a bit sticky!) into ropes and cut them into the desired size pieces.

Bake on parchment for 12 minutes.

before baking

after baking

These cookies will not really brown except for lightly around the edges. That’s what you want! They are supposed to resemble pieces of bones!



There are many, many variations of this cookie throughout Italy. Some are hard and crunchy and meant to be dunked in wine. Others are split on the ends to look like bones. Still others are rubbed with powdered sugar to give the dusty patina of bone.

I make these cookies with unblanched almonds. I like the small brown flecks that the skin gives to most recipes. If you prefer to have your cookies be more snowy white and bone like (!) use blanched almond flour. If you can’t find blanched almond flour in your grocery store, make your own by finely grinding blanched almonds. Be sure to sift out any large pieces.

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