All Saint’s Day and Halloween: regional and typical desserts

Written by EFW Staff

Desserts of the Italian tradition of All Saint’s Day

The celebration of All Saint’s Day and the modern Halloween are coming as well as the tradition to prepare and eat desserts during the night between October and November. The celebration of Halloween is typical of the other part of the ocean but it is pretty spread also in Italy, overlapping the tradition of All Saint’s Day and the children walk on the street knocking on houses’ doors shouting “trick or treat?”. This day seems to derive from the Anglo-Saxon and Irish tradition and many scholars state that it can derive from the ancient pagan tradition of Samhain to celebrate at the end of the summer and the beginning of the autumn and then the celebration of the deceased.

Halloween achieved grim and commercial shades in the recent times in the United States together with the creation of modern and complicated desserts. But the Anglo-Saxon tradition wanted that the desserts eaten or given to the poor in exchange for prayers for the deceased, was simple and poor, as the Italian custom to cook simple home made desserts during the night between 31st October and 1st November to celebrate the deceased and all the Saints.
If you want to celebrate Halloween with children or the traditional custom to remember the deceased and all the Saints. The only thing is to cook and if you want to respect the tradition of this Italian Fest, here you can find some Italian typical and ancient recipes given that in Italy it was and it is still today a custom to knock on the doors to ask for desserts or give them to the poor, or better to give them to the deceased that for a night are back.

Pan dei Morti milanese

pan dei morti

Pan dei morti milanese

200 gr of amaretto
100 gr of castor sugar
100 gr of flour 00
70 gr of dried figs and 40 gr of raisin
40 gr of almonds
2 yolks

Blend in the mixer amaretto and almonds, dunk raisin in the water and squeeze it and cut the figs into small pieces. Mix together sugar, yeast, flour and cinnamon to taste, finally add whipped yolks. Tread the dough with the hands to make small rhombus and bake for half an hour at 180°. Sprinkle the biscuits with powdered sugar or cinnamon, if you like!

Favette dei morti veneziane

Favette dei morti veneziane

Favette dei morti veneziane

100 gr of almonds or pine nuts (as you like)
300 gr of sugar
40 gr of white egg
1 spoon of alcohol for liqueurs
A pinch of vanilla
Cocoa to taste
Food colouring red or pink
Powdered sugar

Blend in the mix almond or pine nuts with sugar, vanilla, and alcohol. Mix together whipped white egg and blend until the dough is homogeneous. Knead the dough and divide it into three parts, add some drops of pink food colouring in one and in the other bitter cocoa and leave the last white. Make the dough rest for some hours and make lots of balls as big as a walnut. Bake for 150° until they are dry, crispy and cracked.

Tetù palermitani

Biscotti Tetù palermitani

Biscotti Tetù palermitani

500 gr of flour
150 gr of almond
150 gr of margarine (or butter)
150 gr of sugar
A pinch of salt

For the glaze:

2 egg whites
250 gr of powdered sugar
2 spoons of bitter cocoa

Mix the dough, a little yeast, the egg, salt, sugar, margarine and almond and knead with the hands blending slowly the milk. Make it rest for one hour and make some small balls, cook them for 180°.
Prepare the glaze whipping the egg whites with powdered sugar until you reach a dense and polished meringue, finally mix the powdered sugar. Once cooked the tetù, sprinkle with glaze and bake again for 5 minutes at 150°.

Source of the recipe:,,

About the author

EFW Staff