Saint's Bones (Huesos de Santo)

Saints bones recipe huesos de santo

​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • refrigerate marizpan: 30 mins
  • Yield: varies

Despite the odd name, huesos de santo or "saint's bones" are delicious treats. The Spanish traditionally eat them on November 1 as part of their All Saints' Day activities. That's the day when families gather and visit their loved ones' graves. The funny name of this sweet comes from the appearance of a white bone on the outside and is filled with a sticky yellow filling.

To prepare these sweet "bones," a marzipan paste is first made from ground almonds and sugar. After cooling, the marzipan is rolled out and formed into tubes. Beaten egg yolks and sugar are heated to create a thick paste and then squeezed into the hollow tubes with a pastry bag.

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 ounces almonds (raw, peeled)
  • 2 1/2 ounces water
  • 5 1/2 ounces granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup powdered confectioner's sugar (for dusting)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Marzipan

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for marzipan
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Purchase peeled, raw almonds at the store, or blanch raw almonds and remove the skin. Dry them thoroughly with paper towels. Grind the almonds to a fine dust in a food processor. Set aside.

    Blend almonds
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Pour 1 1/2 ounces water and 3 1/2 ounces sugar into a medium size saucepan. Heat on high and bring to a boil while stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in ground almonds. Set aside and allow to cool. Once cool to the touch, place in refrigerator to cool for 30 minutes, so it is not as sticky and is easier to work with.

    Pour water over
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Remove the marzipan from the refrigerator. Dust a board generously with powdered sugar. Place marzipan on board and dust top with sugar.

    Flour on cutting board
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Roll marzipan out to about 1/4-inch thick using a rolling pin.

    Roll out marzipan
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Cut into squares about 1 to 1 1/2-inches square.

    Cut into squares
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, wrap marzipan around it and press the ends to seal, forming a little tube.

    Wrap around spoon
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Carefully remove each tube from handle, and place them on a cookie sheet.

    Marzipan on tray
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Make the Filling

  1. Heat 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Pour 1 ounce of water and 2 ounces sugar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil to form a syrup.

    Heat water
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  2. While waiting for water to boil, break the eggs into a heatproof bowl and beat the eggs.

    Beat eggs
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Slowly pour the syrup into the eggs while stirring with a fork or wire whip.

    Slowly pour syrup into eggs
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Transfer the bowl on top of the boiling water to make a water bath. Continue to stir the yolk filling until it becomes very thick like a pudding.

    Mix
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Spoon the yolk filling into a pastry bag and squeeze the filling into each marzipan tube, from each end.

    Spoon yolk into marzipan
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Score the marzipan using the tines of a fork to give it slight ridges.

    Score marzipan
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Serve and enjoy!

    Serve
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

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