Maltese Figolla (Almond Biscuit)
Now this is a biscuit that my Mum would make every Easter (and I found it in a recipe book called The Almond Biscuit). Its a sweet biscuit baked for Easter celebrations. But who wants to wait till Easter.
Typically a pastry figure filled with ground almond (or almond meal) mixture, covered with royal and glace icing.
I found large biscuit shape cutters in a tiny shop in Bowral, NSW. Tradionally the biscuits are three times the size of the bisuits I baked in this picture. I find the smaller size is more easier to handle for one person to eat and you dont need to share. I finished my biscuits with a tiny chocolate egg in the centre.
800g Self Raising Flour
225g Castor Sugar
1 Grated Lemon Peel
1tsp Vanilla Essence
Pinch of salt
170g Pure or Substitute Ground Almonds
170g Castor Sugar
100g Pure Icing Sugar
1/2 Grated Lemon Peel
1tsp Vanilla Essence
2 Egg whites
400g Soft Icing Mixture (Confectioners sugar)
Half Lemon (Freshly Squeezed)
- 2 large (60 grams) egg whites
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 cups (330 grams) pure icing sugar
Making the Pastry
(Use your hands) Sieve the flour in a bowl and mix the flour, vanilla, sugar, butter, salt and lemon peel together. Then, add the eggs (one at a time) and mix until a smooth dough is obtained. If need be, add some water.
Making the Filling Mix:
In a seperate bowl Mix all ingredients together until a smooth paste is obtained.
To do the Biscuit:
Roll the dough on a floured surface with a rolling pin. (about 1cm thick)
Cut 2 identical shapes with your biscuit cutter. Spread the filling on one shape (about 1 cm thick), and place the second shape on top just like a sandwhich.
(Optional - Spread the filling around the shape but keep it 1/2cm away from the egdes, so that you can press down the top layer of pastry (with a fork) onto the bottom layer to close the gap, brush the edges with milk to soften.
Cook in a preheated oven 170º C for about 20 minutes. Leave to cool before decorating.
You ahould get 8 to 10 large cookies out of this pastry mix. (as shown in my pic)
Beat the egg whites in a bowl and add lemon juice. Then add the sieved icing sugar to the egg mixture until a smooth icing is obtained. Pour a drop or two of your preferred food colouring and mix until the desired colour is obtained. Spread this icing on the top of the biscuit to decorate.
Use Royal icing to decorate the edges (in white). I use my piping bag.
Icing Sugar Notes:
Pure Icing Sugar sets harder, therefore used for Royal Icing.
Soft Icing Mixture - or powdered or confectioners' sugar. Is used for Glace Icing. Much softer. Soft Icing Mixture contains added starch