During Lent, many Maltese are compelled to fast, and deprive themselves from sweet and decadent food with the good intention to pay for their sins. Having no fat at all, Kwarezimal are the only traditional cookies, cooked throughout this period and 'permitted' to eat during the forty day of Sacrifice! ...well I eat them as heartedly as any piece of chocolate! I have been inspired to do this recipe by my dear friend Doreen, who is a champion for almond biscuits! Recipe makes 10
500g Pure Ground Almonds300g Soft Brown Sugar
30g Cocoa Powder
1 tbsp Rice Flour
150g Plain Flour
2 egg whites
2 tbsp water
3 tbsp Anisette
1 tbsp Orange Flower Water(optional)
1 tsp Mixed Spice
1 tsp Grated Orange Rind
1 tsp Grated Lemon Rind
Juice of 1 orange
1/2 Cup Crushed Roasted Hazelnuts
1/2 cup honey
In a large bowl, add egg whites, water, lemon rind, orange rind, orange flower water, orange juice, Anisette and sugar. Using a fork, stir mixture well, then add almonds, sifted flour and cocoa powder, rice flour and mixed spice and continue to stir with the fork till all ingredients are combined to form a thick sticky paste.
Pre heat oven to 175c.
Line baking sheets with baking paper, then moist your hands with a little water, take heaped tablespoon of mixture and form into a 12cm roll then arrange on tray and flatten out gently. Cookies should be about 12cm long 5cm wide and 1.5cm thick. Dip a knife in some water and make cris cross dents on top.
Bake for 25 minutes then remove from oven and drizzle generously with honey and sprinke with crushed nuts. These cookies will keep well for long time if stored in an air-tight container.