In this post, I’ll share with you the Ossa di Morto cookies recipe from Treviso: bone-shaped traditional Italian cookies for the Day of the Dead.

Ossa di morto cookies
Ossa di morto sugar cookies


These scary Halloween cookies are baked in Treviso (Veneto) on November 1st, the day of All Saints. But many other Italian regions have an Ossa di Morto recipe, with slight or significant variations. Check the Ortigia issue for one of the Sicilian recipes: something magical happens inside the oven!

“Ossa Di Morto” in Italian means bones of the dead: we are about to make bone-shaped sugar cookies.

They are perfect for milk or wine – as often happens here in Italy – dipping… You choose upon your mental status!

the last cookbooks


The city of Opulence.


The city of Renaissance.


The city of Sassi.


Ossa Di Morto are a Halloween-ish sugar cookie recipe with Italian origins. The recipe is from scratch and calls for simple ingredients like flour, butter, and sugar. Everything is worked into a dough that you shape into bones. The only challenging step of this recipe is having to double bake the cookies and waiting for them to dry at least twelve hours between one and the other baking.

Halloween cookies recipe from Italy: bone shaped cookies
5 from 1 vote

Italian Ossa di Morto cookies

Course cookie recipes
Cuisine Italian
Author Claudia Rinaldi | Gourmet Project


  • 3 cups 00 flour 400 gr - 14 oz + up to 100 gr (1 cup - 3.5 oz) more to work the dough
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar 100 gr - 3.5 oz
  • 1/3 cup butter 70 gr - 2.5 oz - room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fresh baker's yeast 25 gr - 0.9 oz
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 20 gr - 0.7 oz
  • salt
  • water


  1. Dissolve the yeast in ¾ cup of room temperature water.

  2. Whisk the eggs and a pinch of salt in a bowl.

  3. Place the flour in another bowl (or food processor bowl with kneading hook on). Add the butter, oil, sugar, and yeasted water. 

  4. Mix until well amalgamated.

  5. Gradually add the eggs while constantly working the dough with the mixer or your hands. You should get a smooth and elastic dough.

  6. Cover it with plastic, and let it rise for two hours in a warm spot of your house.

  7. Preheat the oven to 150 °C (300 °F).

  8. Take back the dough and work it with your hands, adding as much flour as you'll need to be able to form 10-15 cm (4-6 inches) cylinders.

  9. Place the cylinders over an oven sheet lined with baking paper. 

  10. Press the edges with your two thumbs to form a double, rounding edge. Play with your hands to get the boniest shape you can.

  11. Bake Ossa Di Morto for 15 minutes.

  12. Let them dry completely outside of the oven for at least 12 hours.

  13. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300 °F) and bake the cookies again for 15 minutes.

  14. Seems like your old-world Italian cookies are ready to be dipped and savored.

Enjoy your Ossa Di Morto cookies!