There are many versions of “Bones of the Dead” cookies in Italy. Maria in Maria’s Pastry Shop in Boston’s North End, continues the tradition and makes the cookies in the authentic Sicilian style. They are so delicious that I just can’t stop eating them. Their consistency depends on the weather and sometimes they are so hard that you have to soften them in your mouth so as not to break your teeth.
They may look like a meringue on a cookie, but their ingredients are simply sugar, flour, water and cinnamon oil. The ingredients are formed into a paste and rolled into thick logs. The logs are cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces and left to dry for a couple of days. They are then baked until the sugar melts and forms a caramel colored puddle at the base of the cookie, while the top remains white and firm – like a piece of bone.
It’s also interesting to note that this is a rather joyous holiday in Sicily, as families gather in town cemeteries with flowers and picnic food to enjoy a banquet at the gravesites of their ancestors.
Maria’s Pastry Shop
46 Cross St.