Also known as All Souls’ Day or the Feast of All Saints, the first day of November has been recognised as a day to commemorate the saints of the Christian Church. In Italy, it is a Roman Catholic holiday to remember departed relatives and loved ones. A time when graves are visited and a celebration dining table set to include places for the departed.
These sweet treats are my variation of Ossa dei Morti, or ‘bones of the dead’ which are also made at this time of year.
For my recipe to make 24 – 28 biscuits and in celebration of this Dorset hamlet of All Hallows, you will need…
150 g golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 free range egg, beaten together or heaped tablespoon of apple puree to bind
75 g ground almonds
50 g rice flour
50 g spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch finely ground sea salt
1-2 tablespoons almond milk
Three baking trays lined with parchment or silicon paper, plus an extra sheet for rolling and shaping
Extra rice flour for dusting and rolling
Pre heat oven to 160 C
2 oven AGA, slide grid shelf to floor and have plain, cold shelf ready for use
3 or 4 oven AGA slide grid shelf on floor of baking oven and plain shelf on fourth set of runners to cook two trays at the same time, switching shelves midway through baking time.
Weigh all the dry ingredients and sift together in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre.
Add the beaten egg or apple puree along with the orange extract. Mix together to create a soft, sticky dough adding the almond milk a tablespoon at a time, if necessary.
Turn the dough out on to a large sheet of baking parchment and, using the paper, roll up to form a sausage shape. Press the baking parchment or paper down to create a flat rectangle of dough which is about 24 cm x 12 cm. Then cut the dough into 12 finger size biscuits of approximately 1 cm width. Cut each of these in half long ways to create 24 pieces.
Using extra rice flour and a palette knife to shape and flatten the finger length pieces of dough into flat biscuits of approximate 4 mm thick. Transfer these to the prepared, lined baking trays as you work.
Place 6-8 biscuits on a lined tray and bake 10-12 minutes, switching the shelves halfway through baking time. The biscuits will spread during cooking time.
Bake until pale golden and set. Allow to cool and keep in a tin for up to a week.