Sweet, aromatic, naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, you only need 5 ingredients and 20 mins to make these traditional almond cookies from Malta.
Back in my teenager days, while living in Sicily, I loved spending the summer holidays in Malta. Very close to Sicily, you can either take the ferry boat or a 20-min flight to reach the island. Besides the breathtaking landscapes and beautiful architecture, food is for sure my next favorite thing about Malta.
I’ve always been a fan of maltese cuisine, from the famous street food pastizzi, to mouthwatering timpana plates, there are amazing authentic flavors to try and taste around the island. Surprisingly, maltese culinary tradition doesn’t include many sweet recipes. Most desserts require very simple ingredients, and some others are borrowed from the close Sicily (like the famous cassata or cannoli).
These traditional Biskuttini tal-Lewz, or almond cookies, are extremely easy to prepare and were originally baked during the festive holidays. Every time I’m back in Malta I look out for these cookies. They’re SO good, it’s almost hurtful waiting to be back in town just to get a big batch.
So, when Expedia invited me to make a recipe for the World on a Plate monthly foodie challenge, I immediately said yes. This month chosen country for the challenge was Malta, and I knew the time had come to recreate my favorite maltese cookies at home.
Traditional maltese almond cookies are made with only 5 ingredients and ready in only 20 min. Full of delicious almond flavour and a hint of lemon, these slightly chewy and super light cookies make a perfect treat for yourself or to share with your friends. Since Christmas is also around the corner, these would be a lovely idea for a cute Christmas DIY foodie gift.
Making these cookies couldn’t be easier, all you have to do is mixing the ingredients in a large bowl, or simply fold them all together in a food processor ( I use a powerful KitchenAid). Mix for about 1 minute or until evenly combined.
With the help of your hands shape small amounts of the almond mixture into tiny balls.
Like thumbprint cookies, you need to flatten up the surface by pressing the balls a little with your finger. Arrange the cookies on a tray covered with rice paper as the tradition wants, or the more widely available parchment paper.
Top with a whole blanched almond and your cookies are ready to hit the oven. Bake for 10-12 mins, until they are crispy and golden on top. If you prefer them on the dryer side, just bake for 5-10 mins more.
Crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, good news is these maltese almond cookies are also totally guilt-free. Low cal, completely dairy-free and gluten-free and 100% full of deliciousness.
Bake a batch – or two – of these melt-in-your-mouth almond cookies and enjoy with a warm nice cup of tea. Perfect for these chilled fall days cookie cravings!
I hope you give this traditional recipe a try! If you do, please leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it! Or even better, take a picture, tag it #thepetitecook and share it on Instagram! Looking at your yummy creations always makes my day :)!
- 200 gr ground almonds
- 180 gr sugar
- ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
- 1 large egg whites
- ½ tsp vanilla extract or half vanilla bean
- 25 whole blanched almonds
- Rice paper for baking ( or parchment paper)
- In a large bowl, fold in all the ingredients and mix until evenly combined.
- Shape small amounts into tiny balls with the help of your hands.
- Flatten up the surface by lightly pressing each ball with your thumb.
- Arrange the cookies on a tray covered with traditional rice paper or parchment paper.
- Top with a whole blanched almond,
- Bake in a preheated oven to 170C/350F for 10-12 min, or until golden and crisp on the outside but still slightly chewy inside. If you like them harder, bake for 2-3 mins longer.
- Store in a airtight container in a cool place and serve within 3 days.
This post was brought to you in collaboration with Expedia. All opinions are my own as usual, and I’ve loved taking part to this campaign. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Petite Cook!