bones of the dead cookies

Image credit: Savoring Italy

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Makes about 12 dozen cookies


  • 2 cups unblanched almonds, lightly toasted*
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs – room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pulse the almonds in a food processor until they are finely ground (but not until they have turned into almond butter!). Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, lemon juice, baking powder, and salt. Beat in the eggs and almond extract. Add the flour and ground almonds and beat until the mixture has come together and gained a soft, elastic texture, about 4 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and mold the dough into a ball. Use a sharp knife to cut off a piece of dough roughly the size of a baseball. Keep the rest of the dough covered with a damp kitchen towel while you are forming the cookies so that it doesn’t dry out.

Use your hands to roll the piece of dough out into a thin rope about 1/2 inch wide. Cut the rope into 3-inch-long pieces and place at least 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet to ensure the cookies don’t touch as they spread in the oven. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Bake until the cookies are golden, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool. They will last a while in an airtight container, though remember that a hard texture is desired and that they will become wonderfully chewy dunked in a cup of coffee or vin santo.

*To toast the almonds, preheat the oven to 350˚. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and put the sheet in the oven for 8 minutes, or until almonds are starting to become fragrant and just lightly brown. Watch them carefully, since they will continue to cook as they cool.