Today’s recipe is a well-loved Maltese classic – kwareżimal! Kwareżimal is a delicious sweet treat synonymous with Lent, just perfect with a strong cup of tea on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The name ‘kwareżimal’ comes from the Italian word ‘quaresima’, referring to the forty days of Lent during which people would still be able to enjoy these yummy, soft biscuits without breaking their fast. Naughty but nice, right? Get your apron on and roll up your sleeves because we’re about to bake up a stop in here!

What you’ll need:

  • 50g margarine

  • 400g ground almonds

  • 30g chopped, roasted nuts (pistachios or almonds)

  • 300g self-raising flour

  • 100g wholemeal flour

  • 250g caster sugar

  • 2 tbsp orange flower water (ilma żahar)

  • 2 tbsp water

  • 150g candied peel

  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder (optional)

  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 tsp mixed spice

  • 1 tsp Maltese honey

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • Zest of 1 orange

How to make it:

  1. Line a baking tray with parchment and preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.

  2. Sift both types of flour together into a bowl, adding the wholemeal bran back into the mixture once you’re done.

  3. Heat the margarine in a saucepan.

  4. Next, add the melted margarine and flower water into the flour mixture and mix together well.

  5. Add all the remaining ingredients to the flour mixture, except the honey and chopped nuts, and continue to mix.

  6. Knead the mixture into a dough.

  7. Divide and mould the dough into rectangular shapes (approximately 2cm thick) and pop them onto the baking tray.

  8. Bake for around 20 minutes, until they turn a nice golden brown.

  9. While still fresh out of the oven, drizzle the biscuits with honey and sprinkle generously with chopped nuts of your choosing.

  10. Once they’ve cooled down a bit, cut your kwareżimal biscuits into chunky slices and serve up with a steaming cup of tea or coffee. Enjoy!

What’s your favourite Maltese treat? Tell us in a comment!

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