The “Festa dei Morti” is an important recurrence in Sicily, which goes back to the 10th century. It is celebrated on the 2nd of November, a festivity for adults but especially for children that are attracted from presents and typical sweets. In this way they familiarized with these old celebrations and at the same time establish a relaxed and playful relationship with theirs deceased. The tradition has diverse typologies of sweets among them the “Ossa di Morto”, a hard-crisp very spicy biscuit that smells of cinnamon and cloves of carnation. It is formed of two parts a white, empty one easily crashed similar to bones and a second one a very hard and dark.
- 300 gr of granulated sugar
- 275 strong white flour
- 1 tbs of honey
- 70ml water
- ¼ tsp of cinnamon powder
- ¼ tsp of cloves of carnation powder
Put the flour in a kneading machine, heat up the water almost to the boiling point and then turn off the heat. At this point add the sugar, honey and spices. A lumpy syrup will be obtained as the sugar cannot entirely dissolve in the water due to its high concentration. Leave it to cool for 5 minutes and slowly add the syrup to the flour while mixing the ingredients in the kneading machine until you obtain a smooth dough. Put it on a floured working plan and work it in a shape of a ball, then make many small cylinders of about 1.5-2 cm of diameter. Cut them in small parts of 3 cm length, and if you prefer make small decorations with the fork prongs. The tradition wants that these small parts are dried under a hot Sicilian sun covered with a veil for 3 days at least. They do not have to be turned as the bottom part needs to stay moist. Otherwise they can be dried in an oven as for meringue.
Place these small cylinder in an oven dish covered in baking paper, heat up the oven with a low heat (about 50°C), then put the oven dish in the oven leaving the door a bit open so that the humidity can escape and let them dry for 2-3 hours keeping an eye on the temperature. When the small cylinders will have a white colour, place them to another oven dish (covered in a damp baking paper) and bake at 180°C for 10 minutes. In the oven a magic will happen where from the damp white base the interior will come out (because of the high percentage of sugar that melts and comes out) making the dark part of the biscuit that is attached to the white part.