Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter delights

A bite of these and you're addicted....

Most Maltese people already know what I am writing about, the rest of you are going to find out pretty soon.

...Lo and behold, the Maltese Kwarezmal (pronounced qu-ah-re-zi-mahl) is a traditional and very delicious Maltese biscuit made during lent (and within my family, usually consumed before you will learn how to pronounce it). For Maltese Roman Catholics, Lent is supposed to be one of those times that one does not indulge, but my guess is that this is one of the more important exceptions to that rule. Here's my family recipe - it's guaranteed to taste better than it looks.

Admittedly it can be a bit tricky to get them in the right consistency, ideally they should not be too soft or too hard, but either way, I am sure that you will enjoy them. And in any case, it will be a good excuse to make a second batch, because the first one "did not turn out exactly the way you wanted it" right? ;)

The Recipe for Kwareżimal

You will need:
400 grams plain flour
400 grams ground (roasted) almonds
400 grams sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons orange blossom water (ilma zaghar)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Juice and zest of one orange
Zest of one lemon
Chopped almonds or pistachios and honey to decorate.

Grease the oven trays using some butter and sprinkle with flour. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (180°C) or gas mark 4.

Mix the flour, salt, mixed spices, cinnamon and cocoa in a small bowl. Add the sugar , the roasted ground almonds and the orange and lemon zest. Melt the butter and allow to cool. Add the blossom water, vanilla essence und orange juice and mix into the batter mixture.

Cut the batter into pieces, roll with your hands and make a flat shape. You can decorate them using a knife, for instance by making crossing diagonal lines like we did. Place on the oven trays and back for about 10 – 15 minutes.

Once finished, spread some honey on the top and sprinkle with some chopped almonds or pistachios.

If you are low-carbing, planet mona has an alternative low-carb version here.


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