Legend has it that on the night of Ognissanti, the dead come down from heaven to deliver gifts and treats to the loved ones they left behind. In the same spirit of La Befana, Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, children are promised that if they dutifully respect their elders and pray for their departed relatives all year long, i morti will reward them. When my Zia Nina, my mom’s older cousin and godmother, became engaged, her future in-laws presented her with gifts on All Souls Day, and as the youngest of the family, my mom received a Pupo with a little gold chain around its neck….a way of saying “welcome to the family” from the other-world.
While I would love to share my very own recipe for these extraordinary Sicilian confections, I simply don’t possess the requisite artistry. Instead, here’s a recipe for fave dei morti – fava beans of the dead – a chewy, little almond cookie prepared for All Souls Day throughout much of Italy.