A day after Halloween brings All Souls Day, a feast widely celebrated on the island with local food stores and confectioneries selling traditional bone shaped cookies with an almond meal stuffing.
The recipe for these ‘almond bones’ has been given to me by Renato Briffa, a well known pastry chef who is an expert on traditional and local sweets.
For 8 to 10 cookies, you will need :
For the pastry :
2 teaspoons baking powder
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Few drops good vanilla extract
150g water ( measured by weight not volume)
Tub flour and butter until they resemble fine breadcrumbs.
Add the grated lemon rind, vanilla extract, sugar and finally the water and form the pastry dough.
Leave to rest in the fridge for 15 minutes to 20 minutes.
For the filling you will need :
200g ground almonds
Grated rind of one lemon
1 to 2 egg whites, depending on the size of the eggs.
1 egg white for brushing pastry
Mix everything together until you have the consistency similar to the pastry dough you have just made !
Making the bones ! :
Roll out the dough into a rectangular shape and leave it quite thick.
Brush the surface of the pastry with egg white.
Put some almond filling in the middle.
Roll up the pastry in the shape of a long sausage and secure edges tightly.
Cut the pastry into approximately 100g portions and shape like bones.
Bake in a hot oven at 220 C for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Take out of the oven and leave to cool !
Renato gave me a recipe for fondant icing but I cheated a little with mine. I made glacé icing by mixing a few drops of water into a bowl of confectioners sugar and stirring it until its the right consistency.
Cover the top of the cookies with white icing. Traditionally you would need to dust some flaked nuts before the icing melts. To give these cookies a Halloween touch, I sprinkled mine with orange Confetti !