All Soul's Day, sometimes called the "Day of the Dead," is on November 2 and follows All Saint's
Day. All Soul's Day is a Roman Catholic day of remembrance for friends and family who have died.
It is celebrated with church services and festivals in honor of the dead. Many customs are
associated with All Soul's Day celebrations. Throughout Italy, cafes and pastry shops begin to sell
special cookies in late October. Among the many variations of these tasty cookies are chewy spice
cookies from Milan, ossa dei morti ("bones of the dead") cookies flavored with cloves from Sicily, a
version from the Piedmont made with almonds and hazelnuts, and one from the Veneto region
made with cornmeal. Sweet treats like these are meant to bring some cheer to compensate for the
sadness of the November 1 and 2 holidays. Here we provide you with the chewy chocolate spice
cookie recipe. They are a perfect accompaniment to a cup of espresso or cappuccino.
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons honey
2-1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Confectioners' sugar for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease 2 baking sheets.
In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar until well blended.
Beat in the egg, orange zest, orange juice, and honey.
Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
Stir until well blended. Stir in the raisins and walnuts.
Break off a piece of the dough about the size of a walnut.
Shape the dough into a 2-1/2 inch sausage.
Place on the prepared baking sheet.
Press to slightly flatten the dough.
Repeat with the remaining dough.
Place the cookies about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 12 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and set.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 1 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cook completely.
Dust the cookies with confectioners' sugar.
Store in airtight containers.
The cookies develop more flavor the longer they are stored.