In Northern Spain in particular, Halloween is celebrated due to the region’s Celtic roots but for the most part, the more celebrated holiday is All Saint’s Day which lies on November 1st of every year. On this day, families celebrate the holy saints as well as those who have passed away. It is common for families to visit cemeteries and make a sweet called “Huesos de Santo” (Bones of the Holy) to bring to the cemetery.
This sweet skeletal replica is made with almonds, sugar, and eggs. The preparation of holy bones takes a couple of days for the marzipan to dry and take shape. The traditional Huesos de Santo is filled with an egg yolk/sugar syrup cream but over the years people have made different variations filled with chocolate, vanilla, etc. This recipe will be for the traditional Huesos de Santo and can make up to 45 “holy bones”.
This recipe is great for folks who eat eggs, but for those plant-based pilgrims, there are plenty of other options. Download our Vegan on the Camino Guide here:
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Holy Bones - “Huesos de Santo” Ingredients/kitchen supplies Needed: 1.5 cups of whole almonds 4 tablespoons of water 4.5 cups of confectioners’ sugar 3 tablespoons of egg whites (they won’t be cooked, so you may want to use pasteurized ones) 12 egg yolks 1 cup granulated sugar Rolling pin A pencil or something similar to roll the dough Cooling rack Piping bags
Step 1: Make the marzipan
- 1.5 cups of whole almonds
- 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons of egg whites (recommended to use pasteurized eggs)
Blend the almonds and 2 cups of confectioners' sugar, blend until ground Mix the almond ground with the eggs and knead it until it doesn’t stick to your hands Stretch the mixture (after dusting it the sugar) with the rolling pin, until it is about 3mm thick Cut it into 5x5cm squares Curl each square around the pencil or similar utensil until its tube-shaped Lay the tubes on a cooling rack until they dry, around 2-3 days
Step 2: The yolk filling
- 12 egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar
Mix and boil the 12 egg yolks and the 1 cup granulated sugar Keep stirring until boiled then allow to cool Fill the tubes using your piping bags
Step 3: The glaze
- 2.5 confectioners’ sugar
- 4 tablespoons of water
Mix the 2.5 cups of confectioners’ sugar and 4 tablespoons of water. Dunk the marzipan tubes in the glaze Lay them on the cooling rack to dry
Step 4: enjoy
Tuck in! These are a lovely addition to any Halloween party or Spanish feast. Check out the Queimada recipe for more Spanish Halloween traditions.
Enjoy a taste of Halloween on the Camino
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If you want to find out more about Halloween in Spain, go check out our page where we prepared for you everything you need to know about it!
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Originally published on 27th October 2021