Figolli – maltese cookies for Easter – Biscuits maltais de Pâques

(en français, plus bas)

Traditions have always fascinated me, whatever they are linked to: religion, day-to-day life, and of course as I am now so much into it: cooking. What I find even more fascinating is to discover all the similarities between some of them across countries, religions and time…

Although I am not very much into celebrations such as Christmas and Easter, I absolutely love all the cooking traditions around them.  A few weeks ago, I was doing some research on Maltese cuisine, because I wanted to take part to Tobias’ Mediterranean cooking event, featuring Malta and this is how I discovered “Figolli”. Malta is one of the places I hope to visit soon, its history, beauty and language is another source of fascination to me :-)

Figolli are cookies filled with almond paste or sometimes, date paste and cut out to represent symbolic figures. They are traditionally prepared for Easter and decorated with sugar icing or chocolate and often, an Easter egg is put on top of each figolli. They are rather large cookies! They used be cut in shapes representing Christian Easter figures, such as lamb, cross or fish, but nowadays, they are cut out in any other shapes! The preparation of figolli usually takes place the week before Easter and the whole family gathers to spend a figolli baking day together!

Needless to say that I got totally enthusiastic about  figolli  because the family baking reminded me of my dear friend H. telling me about her family gatherings to prepare ma’amul (an Easter tradition for the Christian in Levant Middle-Eastern countries).

I baked small figolli and really love their texture and taste, unfortunately I had no time to post them on time for the event, but I think it is perfect to post them for Easter!

update: I am sending these figolli to Nanette from Gourmet Worrier, who has organised the World Figolli Day!

Recipe for about 20 figolli ( about 8x6cm size)

Recipe adapted from here:

For the crust:

200 g butter at room temperature

400 g flour

80 g sugar

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 pinch of salt

About 0.5 dl water to mix

For the filling:

180 grams sugar

250 grams almond meal

1 tablespoon orange blossom water

2 egg whites (keeping 1/2 tablespoon aside)

Method:

Prepare the crust: Pulse the flour, one pinch of salt, lemon zest and soft butter in a food processor until crumbly texture. Add the sugar and mix. Add the egg yolks. Using your fingers, incorporate them into the dough, adding some water, little by little, until the dough is firm but manageable.

Keep aside.

Combine the almond meal and sugar and blend them briefly by pulsing a couple of times. Stir in the orange blossom water and the egg whites, keeping ½ tablespoon aside.

Preheat the oven at 175°C.

Dust your work surface with flour. Roll the pastry crust and cut the shapes you want, always taking care of cutting two of each. Spread some of the almond paste, avoiding the edges.

Brush a very thin layer of egg white on the edges of each shape and cover it with its matching half. Press all around the shape to seal it, avoiding the almond mixture to come out while baking.

Bake for about 25 minutes.

Place the figolli on a baking rack to cool down completely.

Decorate with melted chocolate, icing sugar, etc…

Traditionnally, an egg was put on the figolli.

Figolli, biscuits maltais de Pâques

Recette pour environ 20 Figolli (d’environ 8x6cm)
Recette adaptée d’ici

Pour la pâte:
200 g de beurre mou,à température ambiante
400 g de farine
80 g de sucre
2 jaunes d’oeufs
1 cuillère à café de zeste de citron râpé
1 pincée de sel
environ 0,5 dl d’eau à mélanger
Pour la farce:
180 grammes de sucre
250 grammes d’amande en poudre
1 cuillère à soupe d’eau de fleur d’oranger
2 blancs d’oeufs (mettre 1 / 2 cuillère à soupe de côté)

Préparation:
Préparer la pâte: mélanger  la farine, une pincée de sel, le zeste de citron et le beurre mou dans un mixeur  jusqu’à texture sableuse. Ajouter le sucre et mélanger. Incorporer les jaunes d’œuf en mélangeant avec  les doigts, et former une pâte en ajoutant peu à peu de l’eau, jusqu’à ce que la pâte soit ferme mais souple.
Mettre de côté.
Mélanger la poudre d’amande et le sucre et les donner quelques impulsions dans un blender. Incorporer l’eau de fleur d’oranger et les blancs d’œufs,(dont vous gardez  ½ cuillère à soupe de côté).
Préchauffer le four à 175 ° C.
Fariner la surface de travail. Abaisser la pâte et découper  des formes à l’emporte-pièce, en prenant toujours soin de couper deux de chaque. Ajouter un peu de la pâte d’amande, sur la moitié des formes en évitant les bords.
Appliquer une très fine couche de blanc d’œuf sur les bords de chaque forme et la recouvrir avec
sa moitié correspondante. Appuyer tout autour de la forme pour la sceller, et éviter que la pâte d’amande ne déborde pendant la cuisson.
Cuire au four environ 25 minutes.
Placez les Figolli sur une grille pour refroidir complètement.
Décorer avec du chocolat fondu, du glaçage au sucre glace, etc ..
Traditionnellement, on pose un œuf sur chaque Figolli.

About these ads

25 thoughts on “Figolli – maltese cookies for Easter – Biscuits maltais de Pâques

  1. Rho!!! lala, en plus d’être très beaux, tes petits biscuits sont exquis et ça me donne drôlement envie de croquer dedans!
    Je te souhaite une bonne journée
    Bisous
    Merci d’avoir rejoint la fanpage jeux d’épices et saveurs variées

  2. these look lovely – never heard of them but I too love all the cooking traditions throughout the year – and have been looking at marzipan recipes lately for we should cocoa blog event

  3. Thank you for trying out figolli! I am Maltese and love tradtions in general but like you mostly those that relate to food tradtions. At my mum’s they were a must at Easter and my husband and I have carried this tradition into ours. Our girls are now addicted too… Beautiful blog… thanks to Nanette for posting it on fb…

  4. Ma grand-mère faisait des figolli à Pâques, mais c’était des biscuits en forme de poule, canard ou poisson, sans pâte d’amandes, avec un œuf dur dessus!

  5. Very nice Easter basket- the cookies look very neat! I made some Easter themed cupcakes for my daughter’s preschool Easter party :)
    Easter wishes to you n your family!
    US Masala

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s