A special Maltese Easter tradition which is usually made in the Easter period with everyone joining in!
I just love this traditions. My girls loved watching me make these this year. Although they were not able to help apart from licking a bowl here and there, they loved observing me make these biscuits.
This wasn’t something my mum made when we were growing up but I remember my aunty and cousins making these every year at Easter and sharing them with me.
A chocolate egg is usually placed in the centre of the figolli but I prefer to just decorate with royal icing. I have seen so many variations so feel free to be original.
A beautiful tradition to carry down from generation to generation, or share with your new extended family and friends.
Figolli were traditionally given on Easter day but you can now find them all throughout Easter being sold in Malta.
- For the biscuits:
- Large shape cutters in traditional easter shapes such as fish, rabbits and ducks
- 400 grams flour
- 200 grams softened butter
- 150 grams castor sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 2 teaspoon aniseeds
- 2 egg yolks
- For the almond filling:
- 300 grams caster sugar
- 450 grams almond meal
- 2 egg whites
- Zest of 2 lemons
- Zest of 2 oranges
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon Orange blossom water
- For the icing glaze:
- 330 grams icing sugar sifted
- ½ lemon juice
- 1 egg white
- Food colouring of different colours
- Royal icing ingredients to decorate the covered biscuit:
- 300 grams sifted icing sugar
- 1 egg white
- Piping bag
- Chocolate eggs and small silver balls to decorate (optional)
- Mix the flour and softened butter with your fingers so as to resemble bread crumbs.
- Add in the sugar, lemon zest, orange zest, aniseeds and mix.
- Add in the yolks and orange juice and mix well.
- knead for about 5 minutes.
- Cover in cling film and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
- Now prepare the filling by mixing all the filling ingredients together. Place this into the fridge also for two hours.
- Remove the pastry and filling from the fridge.
- Preheat oven to 180oc.
- Divide the pastry into five portions.
- Take one of the portions and divide into two. Roll out two pieces of pastry with a rolling pin and using a cutter make two equal shapes.
- On one of the shapes fill with a portion of the filling making sure to leave room around the edges (divide the filling into 5 portions).
- Brush the edges with water and place the remaining shape over the filled shape.
- Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Any excess pastry add to your other dough.
- Continue to do this until all 5 figolli have been made.
- Once your five filled figolli have been completed place in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. They should be light brown in colour.
- All to cool completely before handling as they will still be slightly soft.
- Prepare the icing glace by mixing the icing glaze ingredients together.
- Use food colouring to colour some of the mixture in different colours.
- Cover each of your biscuits in different colours. I usually prefer to use pastel colours but it is personal preference.
- If you with place a chocolate egg in the centre of your figolla.
- Now prepare the royal icing by mixing all ingredients together. This should be a smooth but stiff white paste.
- Fill a piping bag with a small serrated nozzle and decorate the edges of the covered biscuits as you wish. Refer to my images to see how I have decorated.
- Leave to set and then cut in slices.