The first cookie I made was the ossi dei morti because they took the longest to chill. I got the recipe from Mark Bittman’s cookbook, Recipes Around the World. These cookies are basically just Italian chewy sugar cookies. They are nicknamed “Bones of the Dead” this is because they last a very long time. There was an option to add almond, vanilla, or cinnamon, I decided to add almond because it was an Italian cookie and I felt that almond is in most Italian cookies, so I went for the almond. These cookies were very easy and were mostly hands-off. I would recommend making these if you want a longer baking project and not to bring to a last minute party because it has a long chilling time. These are great to make during quarantine though.
The next cookies I made were a version of the Japanese snack, Pocky. I basically just took a breadstick recipe from Mark Bittman’s Recipes Around the World ,but I dipped them into chocolate and coconut. Originally I thought that these would be hard breadsticks, I did not realize that this would produce a softer bread stick. It was still good, but not exactly Pocky. This cookie also took a long time to make, but it was a lot of fun to knead the dough for the breadsticks. To make these at home you can find a breadstick recipe hard or soft (preferably hard) and then dip it in chocolate and any other topping. For toppings I would recommend (sprinkles, crushed up pretzels, any crushed up nuts, or coconut).
The second to last cookie I made was hamantaschen. These are cookies that are eaten on the Jewish Holiday Purim. They are meant to represent Haman’s hat. Haman was the bad guy in the Purim story. Hamantaschen are traditionally filled with jam or jelly, some people take it to the next level and put chocolate, peanut butter, and marshmallow fluff in it. Some people even flavor the dough. I decided to do my favorite filling which is very traditional which is raspberry jam. I have been making hamantaschen with my grandma since I was little, so this cookie has always been a favorite of mine. My favorite recipe to use is one from the website Saveur, they use cream cheese in their dough which gives the dough a nice tangy flavor that compliments the jam very well, I would recommend sticking to jam or jelly for this recipe because it goes best with the dough. I also like to add lemon zest from one lemon to the dough to enhance the flavor of the cream cheese. These cookies came out really good, but some exploded because I like to put a lot of jam in it. If you don’t want them to explode you just put less jam. They are delicious either way. I make these cookies even when it is not Purim, so I would recommend trying out the recipe online.
The last cookie I made is very well known and one of my favorite cookies, black and white cookies. Recently, I have been very into watching the New York Times Cooking channel on YouTube and I found one video that Melissa Clark created about making the perfect black and white cookies. I decided that I needed to try them out because it would be nice to be able to make them instead of having to buy them. The recipe was very straightforward and easy to make. The cookies themselves were so moist and cakey, which is why I love them so much. For the icing, I would definitely recommend making the icing on the thicker side because I made it way too thin and it kept dripping off, specifically the vanilla icing. I would also recommend putting in a little lemon juice and instead of the hot water put a little lemon juice to add a little more tang to the icing and to offset the sweetness of the confectioners sugar. If you can’t tell, I am obsessed with putting lemon zest in baked goods. To me, it’s a nice enhancer and makes the sweetness of a baked good less overwhelming. I totally recommend trying out Melissa Clark’s recipe. You can probably find it on the New York Times Cooking website. Also, watch the video to get a few extra tips and to see how she created the recipe.
Overall, this was a super fun project and I am so happy with how it turned out. Baking is definitely therapeutic for me, so having a whole day to make was heaven. I hope that everyone’s families are all safe and if you have the chance I recommend trying all of the recipes I mentioned in the post. I will link them below.
Black and White Cookies
Ossi Dei Morti and Breadstick Recipe