This recipe was popular in Malta during the strict days of fasting during Lent. Nowadays, it's also popular as an Easter sweet. Although similar to an Italian sweet, these biscuits have an oblong shape.
- 300 g plain flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 300 g ground almonds
- 150 g sugar
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 2 tbsp orange flower water
- grated rind of 1 lemon
- grated rind of 1 orange
- 200 ml water
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp chopped roasted almonds
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time 2–3 hours
Rub the flour and olive oil together. Add the ground almonds, sugar, cocoa powder, mixed spice, cinnamon, cloves, orange flower water, and the lemon and orange rinds.
Make a well in the centre, pour in the water and knead gently to form a soft smooth dough. Dust slightly with the flour and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
On a lightly floured board, gently roll out the pastry to 1 cm thick and 15 cm wide. Cut oblongs 8 cm in width and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Allow to sit for a few hours before baking.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Brush with honey and sprinkle with the almonds to serve.