Restaurants & Bars 1

Italian "Day of the Dead" cookies?

julius_ii | Nov 1, 2008 07:28 AM

When I lived in Italy, the first week of November (and especially November 1) was one of the best times of year for cookies. One of the real treats in Lombardy and Piedmont was "pan dei morti" ("bread of the dead"), a delicious cookie shaped like an almond or a deflated football. They were made with powdered almond macaroons, sweet wine, dried fruit, chocolate, pignoli, and spices. Like panforte or panpepato, they were sticky and dense, so were baked on top of rice-paper disks, or, if you could find them, unconsecrated hosts.

You'd bite into a shattering, icing-sugar-dusted outside that gave way to a rich and chewy interior that was almondy, chocolaty, and spicy.

Well, the point is, I'm craving them today. Does anyone know of a great Italian bakery in Montreal that bakes these death-defying cookies? When I searched for them in Boston's (very Italian) North End last year, all I found was the southern Italian "ossi dei morti" ("bones of the dead"), a very dry meringue resembling white bones. They're good too, just a different thing.

Any tips for my search today?

(PS, for those interested in seeing what "pan dei morti" looks like, I'm including a link to some photos. Yes, there's a recipe at the link too, but I think it'd be much safer to be able to buy a few cookies than to make them myself and have several dozen sitting around the house!)

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