Spanish Recipes: Bones of the Saints (Huesos de Santo)

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‘Huesos de Santo’ (Bones of the Saints) are the most traditional of the sweets that we eat on All Saints’ Day. You may have already seen them in a confectioners’ shop window, and you may be wondering what are they made of or if you could make them at home.

The truth is, it is not an easy job. If your cooking skills are limited, stop reading and just buy them at the shop. Even though they are expensive, it is worth it. You won’t be disappointed (unless you are a weirdo who doesn’t like sweets.)
However, you may want to give it a try (I would!!) Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? This is a post for those of you who like challenge: the recipe of ‘Huesos de Santo’.

As you see in the picture, ‘Huesos de Santo’ are a tube of marzipan filled with a cream made from egg yolks cooked with a sugar syrup. This is the traditional flavor and the one we are using, but you can fill them with anything you want: chocolate, cream, coconut, kiwi, coffee, strawberry….they are a little fake though.

And remember before you start, it takes 2-3 days for the marzipan to dry and the measurements we are using are for 45 bones approx. Ready?

Step 1: The tubes of marzipan.
You need 250 gr (1.5 cups) of whole almonds, 250 gr (2 cups) of confectioners’ sugar, 40 gr (3 tablespoons) of egg whites (they won’t be cooked, so you may want to use pasteurized ones).

Put the whole almonds and the confectioners’ sugar in a blender and crush it, half almonds and half sugar. You must be careful to not overcrush the mixture, we need a dry and loose ground. Finally mix the almond ground and the egg whites and knead it until the dough doesn’t stick to your hands. Juan Ramón González, the professional and divulgative chef whose recipe we are translating, explains that he prefers to use whole almonds because the taste is stronger. But if you don’t have a blender at your disposal, just buy the ground almond. It will be easier.

With your rolling pin stretch the dough on a surface dusted with confectioners’ sugar, until it is about 3mm thick. Cut it into 5x5cm squares. Coil each square around a pencil (or a stick or anything similar will work) and take the dough off of the pencil. We should get tube- shaped piece of marzipan. Lay the tubes on a cooling rack until they dry, which most likely will take 2 or 3 days, depending on where you live.

Step 2: The yolk filling.
We’ll use 12 egg yolks and 200gr (1 cup) of granulated sugar.

Mix the egg yolks and the sugar and boil it. Keep stirring until it cooks and allow it to cool, now fill the tubes. The easiest way to do it is to use a piping bag with a small nozzle. (you don’t have a piping bag? Let’s make one!)

Step 3: The glaze.
Mix 350 gr (2.5 cups) of confectioners’ sugar and 60 gr (4 tablespoons) of water. Dunk the marzipan tubes in the glaze and lay them on the cooling rack again until they dry.

P.S. Has it been such hard work?? Easy peasy…
As you see, these are gluten and dairy free sweets, but never buy them without asking first if you have an allergy. This is just the standard recipe, you never know what they use in the confectioners’ shop.

The original recipe and photos are by Juan Ramón González, and you can read it in his blog. (He has some other interesting recipes, if you want to take a look.) Thank you, Juan Ramón!!

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