Date: 23 Oct 2014 Author: Jacqui Categories: Cookies, Food, Holiday Specials, International Cuisine, Sweets & Treats 0


In Malta, Halloween is not traditional, although today it has become very popular.  We find any excuse to party ! We celebrate All Saints Day and All Souls Day, on the 1st and 2nd of November however, and this sweet was made as a tradition.  It is called Ghadam Tal-Mejtin, literally translated as Dead Men’s Bones.  It does not sound that appetizing but I can assure you that they taste really good!


For the pastry

  • 160 g sugar
  • 300 g Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Mix (I used Dr Schar)
  • 100 g Almond Flour
  • 200g grams cold butter, cubed
  • Zest of a lemon and an orange
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum


For the Filling

  • 200g sugar
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp of almond or vanilla essence
  • 2 medium egg whites beaten
  • 1/2 tsp of Orange Flower Water


Mix the GF flour, Xanthan gum, baking powder and sugar in a bowl.   Add the cold butter and combine with the ingredients until texture looks like breadcrumbs. Add the grated rinds as well as the egg yolks.

Mix well until it becomes a fairly soft but firm dough, only adding water or some juice of an orange if necessary.  It will feel sticky in the beginning. Don’t add too much flour if possible.

When it feels like a smooth dough, wrap in cling film. Leave to chill in fridge for not less than an hour.

In the meantime prepare the filling.

Mix together the sugar with the ground almonds. Add the almond or vanilla essence and Orange Flower Water and then fold in the egg whites.

When rolling out the pastry make sure you sprinkle your work top with some GF flour so it will not stick to your work surface. Dust also the rolling pin. Do not roll the pastry too thin. Best if you cut small pieces of dough at a time and keep the dough covered. You can use metal bone cutters or just draw your own like I did.

Place the shapes on baking sheet lined tins. Place the filling onto the
pastry about 1cm thick, leaving about 1cm around the edges.  Brush the edges with milk or egg and cover with another bone cutout. Press the edges together. Brush the top with milk or egg.

Bake till they turn golden brown.

Decorate with white royal icing and chocolate if desired.


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