These marzipan-filled biscuits have been made for centuries in Malta, traditionally eaten on Easter Sunday. The bunny shape is a popular modern touch, but you can use any shape of biscuit cutter.
- 500 g (3⅓ cups) plain flour, sifted
- 320 g (2 cups) pure icing sugar, sifted
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 2 lemons, zested
- 250 g cold unsalted butter, chopped
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 drops orange blossom water (seeNote)
- 250 g marzipan (see Note)
- 10 small Easter eggs
Royal icing mixture
- 2 egg whites
- 640 g (4 cups) pure icing sugar, sifted
- Red and black food colouring (optional)
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.
Chilling time 2 hours 30 minutes
Resting time 2 hours 30 minutes
Place flour, icing sugar, baking powder and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add egg yolks and orange blossom water and process until mixture just comes together. Turn out onto a clean work surface, shape into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Divide pastry in half. Roll out one sheet between two pieces of baking paper to 2 mm thick. Using a 10 cm decorative biscuit cutter, cut out 10 biscuits. Repeat with remaining pastry to create 20 in total. Place on lined oven trays and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 170°C. Roll out marzipan to 1 mm thick and, using the same biscuit cutter, cut out 10 shapes. Place marzipan on top of 10 of the pastry shapes, then cover each with a remaining pastry shape. Press gently to seal. Return to lined trays and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make icing, whisk egg whites and icing sugar together until thick and smooth. If desired, remove ½ cup icing, divide into two bowls and colour with food colouring, mixing until evenly coloured. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 2mm plain nozzle and pipe around outside of biscuits to create an outline. Set aside for 30 minutes to set. Spoon plain icing onto biscuits to fill inside outline. Alternatively, just coat biscuits in plain icing. Press an Easter egg in centre of biscuit and set aside for 2 hours to set.
• Orange-blossom water is available from specialist and Middle Eastern food shops.
• Marzipan is a sweet, firm almond paste available from supermarkets.
Photography Ben Dearnley
For more Easter ideas, from festive baking to slow-cooked lamb, visit our Easter recipe collection here.