Fave dei morti

The name doesn’t translate well so I left it in Italian. In Italy we have the “Day of the Saints” on the First of November and the “Day of the Deceased” on the second. This cookie is traditionally made for the latter. In fact the translation of the name would be,”Fava (beans) of the Deceased.”


2 cups peeled almonds
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 – 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 egg
lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
pinch of cinnamon
1 Tbsp. Italian grappa


1. Chop the almonds finely. I do it in a food processor by turning it on and off quickly until I have the desired size. Don’t just turn it on and let it run or they turn into a cream.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and then combine the eggs one at the time.
3. Once they are mixed in well the dough should start to hold together.
4. A bit at a time roll into long rolls about 1/2 inch thick.
5. Cut them into pieces about 3/4 inch long.
6. Poke each one with your finger to make a sort of dent in the middle.
7. Place them on a baking sheet which has been greased with butter and dusted with flour.
8. Beat the egg whites slightly with a fork and gently brush some of it on the cookies. Just a bit.
9. Bake them for 15 to 20 minutes at 325°.
10. Serve once they’ve cooled.


This recipe will make around 80 bite sized cookies.

4 Responses to “Fave dei morti”

  1. cathy randazzo said:

    In the recipe “fave dei morti” cookies – you mention l/2 tbsp. Italian grappa…what is grappa? Thank you…..cr

  2. Patty said:

    @Cathy: Grappa is a liquor that is made by distilling the residue of the grapes after they’ve been pressed to make wine. It’s available in better liquor stores.

  3. serena said:

    I have a question about the eggs. The recipe calls for 2 egg yolks and 1 egg. Should just the egg yolks be added in step 2? Or 2 egg yolks and 1 whole egg? By the way, I love your recipes. My family is from Vicenza and I lived with my nonni for 5 years there. I love how all your recipes are just like what I’m used to because most “Italian” food here in the US is either from Southern Italy or something I’ve never heard of that must be an American invention.

  4. Patty said:

    Ciao Serena,
    Your right Italian food was mostly from the South of Italy, I noticed though that some northern dishes are now introduced as some ingredients :-)
    About this recipe first combine the other ingredients than add the egg yolks, one at a time and lastly the whole egg.

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