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Dive into Deliciousness: Try Maltese ‘Dead Men’s Bones’ This Halloween

Delicious Halloween treat: Maltese ‘Dead Men’s Bones’

As Halloween approaches, it’s time to explore the world of spooky and delicious treats that are enjoyed during this festive season. While pumpkin may be the star ingredient in many Halloween recipes, there are unique and delicious cookies from different parts of the world that deserve attention. One such treat is the Maltese Dead Men’s Bones, a traditional Halloween cookie that is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

A taste of Malta

Malta, an archipelago known for its stunning scenery and ancient temples, is also famous for its delicious local cuisine. In addition to figolla cookies, which are enjoyed at Easter, Malta offers a special treat at Halloween known as għadam tal-mejtin, which means “dead man’s bones”. These cookies are a beloved part of Maltese culinary tradition and are eagerly awaited during the Halloween season.

The making of Dead Men’s Bones

These chunky, bone-shaped cookies are made with care and attention to detail. The exterior is made from a delicious vanilla flavored short crust dough, while the interior is a different dough made with almond flour. The almond flavored dough is enhanced with the delightful combination of cloves, cardamom, and sometimes aniseed, creating a unique and aromatic flavor.
To give the cookies an eye-catching appearance, the top of each bone-shaped treat is generously covered with white royal icing. This icing provides a shiny glaze that adds to the overall appeal of the cookies. For those who prefer alternatives to royal icing, there are also versions topped with powdered sugar or melted white chocolate, offering a variety of options to suit different tastes.

A Halloween treat to try

Maltese Dead Men’s Bones are not only delicious, but also a fun and festive addition to any Halloween celebration. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply looking for a unique Halloween treat, these cookies are sure to impress. The combination of flavors, the attention to detail in their preparation, and the cultural significance behind them make these cookies a must-try for any Halloween enthusiast.

Bring the tradition home

If a trip to Malta is not on your agenda, fear not! You can bring the flavors of this Mediterranean island to your own kitchen by trying your hand at making Maltese Dead Men’s Bones. With a little time and effort, you can become the cookie king or queen of your own neighborhood.
There are several online resources and recipes that provide step-by-step instructions on how to recreate these delicious cookies. Whether you choose to follow a traditional recipe or add your own creative twist, the process of making Dead Men’s Bones can be a fun and rewarding experience.

A Halloween treat

As Halloween approaches, it’s the perfect time to explore the world of international treats and add a touch of Maltese flavor to your celebrations. Maltese Dead Men’s Bones offer a unique and delicious alternative to traditional Halloween candy. So why not embark on a culinary adventure and try these delicious cookies? Get ready to impress your friends, family and neighbors with this spooky and delicious Halloween treat!


What are Maltese ‘Dead Men’s Bones’?

Maltese Dead Men’s Bones are traditional Halloween cookies from Malta. They are bone-shaped cookies made with a vanilla flavored short crust dough and an almond flour dough flavored with cloves, cardamom and sometimes aniseed. The top of the cookies is covered with white royal icing for a shiny glaze.

Are Maltese Dead Man’s Bones only eaten on Halloween?

Yes, these cookies are specifically associated with Halloween in Malta. They are typically made and eaten at the end of October and throughout November to celebrate the Halloween season.

Can I find Maltese ‘Dead Men’s Bones’ outside of Malta?

While these cookies are most commonly found and enjoyed in Malta, you may be able to find variations or similar treats in Maltese communities or specialty bakeries in other parts of the world. Alternatively, you can try making them at home using recipes available online.

Do Maltese “Dead Man’s Bones” have any special significance in Maltese culture?

These cookies are a popular part of the Maltese culinary tradition during Halloween. The bone shape and the name “Dead Men’s Bones” add a spooky and festive touch to Halloween celebrations in Malta.

What other Halloween treats are popular in Malta?

In addition to Dead Men’s Bones, there are other delicious treats associated with Halloween in Malta. Some examples include figolla cookies, which are filled with marzipan and shaped into bunnies or lambs during the festive Easter period, and ottijiet cookies, which are shaped into octagons and flavored with vanilla, cloves, orange juice and peel, aniseed and sesame seeds.

Can I customize the toppings on Maltese Dead Men’s Bones?

Absolutely! While the traditional version uses white royal icing on top of the cookies, you can get creative and customize the toppings to your liking. You can try using powdered sugar or melted white chocolate as alternatives so you can experiment and find your favorite flavor and presentation.

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