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Għadam tal-Mejtin (Maltese Bone Biscuits)

Għadam tal-Mejtin are flavourful bone-shaped shortcrust biscuits with an almond filling. They are a traditional Maltese treat for All Souls day.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 14

Ingredients

Dough

  • 370 g plain flour 3 cups
  • 150 g cold butter 2/3 cup
  • 100 g caster sugar 1/2 cup
  • zest of one lemon
  • 60 ml water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Almond filling

  • 200 g ground almonds 2 cups
  • 200 g icing sugar 2 cups
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp almond essence
  • 1/2 tsp cloves

Icing glaze

  • 60 g icing sugar 1 cup
  • 1 tbsp water
  • crushed almonds

Instructions

Preparation of the dough and almond filling

  • In a large bowl mix the flour and the cubed butter to a crumbly mixture. Add all the remaining ingredients except the water, and mix well. Slowly start adding the water and combine until a smooth soft dough is formed. Wrap in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for an hour.
  • For the almond filling, add all the ingredients together and mix well to get a paste. Do the same as before, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for an hour.

Baking the Bone Biscuits

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it's 2 cm thick (do not go thinner than 1 cm). With a bone shaped cutter, cut the dough and place them on the sheet of parchment paper, leaving some space between one another.
  • Place a generous layer of the almond filling on the dough. Cover the almond filling with another piece of bone shaped dough and seal well the sides.
  • Bake the biscuits for about 30 minutes or until lightly golden.
  • When the biscuits are cooked, first let them rest on the baking tray before moving them to a cooling rack as this may cause them to break. After some minutes, transfer to a cooling rack to let them completely cool. It is best to let them rest for a while.

Decoration

  • For the glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the icing sugar with 1 tbsp of water. Dip the bone biscuit in the glaze and place them on the cooling rack, for the extra glaze to drip off. Drizzle some crushed almonds before the glaze starts to set.
  • Let set completely and enjoy!

Notes

Be generous with the filling!
Remember that it is very important that you don’t roll the dough too thin, as it is quite fragile and can break easily.
Store the għadam tal-mejtin in a cool dry place in a container or wrapped in cling film, and they can last for several weeks.