I think this recipe for Sicilian Bones of the Dead will show you how different the recipes passed down generations in my family are so specific to the cities from which my Sicilian family came, Pozzalo, Modica, and Siculiana which are geographically very close together. So many times I have said that the foods we cook and bake are unique but this recipe in particular might even strike you as a little strange because of its name.
The main ingredient in Sicilian Bones of the Dead is confectionery sugar. That in itself is very sweet being used mostly in frosting. In this recipe, it is the main ingredient in the cookie dough. Sicilian Bones of the Dead are not frosted.
Sicilian Bones of the Dead start with making the sweet dough. Follow the directions in the recipe below to form the cookies. The next part seems a little “different” but you leave the cookies on the cookie sheet to dry overnight. The next day when you bake them, the sugar comes out of the hard cookie shells. They will be crunchy on the outside with a pool of sugar!
They are delicious and sweet!
Sicilian Bones of the Dead
Makes 6 dozen cookies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Bake 11 minutes
4 c. confectionery sugar
1 ¼ c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 beaten eggs
Water if dough is too dry
In a large bowl mix the confectionery sugar, flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the eggs.
Add the eggs to the flour/sugar mixture and mix with a wooden spoon. Dough will be lumpy and dry until the eggs are mixed in well. Continue to mix in the eggs by hand until it forms a dough that you can work into a ball. If it is sticky, add a little flour and mix it in. If it is too dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time and mix in until you can form the dough into a ball that is firm and not sticky.
Work on a lightly floured surface. Take a handful-sized portion of dough and roll into a long, thick rope about a half inch around. Cut diagonally into 3 ½ inch long pieces.
Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the cut pieces on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Spacing is necessary. Repeat this with all of the cookie dough.
Let stand overnight to dry cookies.
Bake cookies at 375 degrees for 11 minutes or until they are golden brown and crusty/hard. Leave in another minute if they are not. A pool of sugar comes out of the cookies as they bake.
Dunk cookies in coffee.
Sicilian Bones of the Dead are very delicious!