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Prepare your own Maltese cookies while staying at home

by Eddie Rayner

People who long for the taste of Malta now have the chance to indulge in exotic Maltese desserts prepared by none other than themselves. Due to the surplus of free time during quarantine, many people have turned their focus on hobbies they could practice while at home, and it seems the popular home activity right now is cooking.

Malta Tourism Authority shares a traditional kwarezimal recipe for home cooks to prepare. Families staying at home will enjoy the taste of Malta while cooped up with their loved ones.

Kwarezimal is made in every household in Malta during Easter, and its name literally means ‘forty days of Lent’. These delicious cookies are easy to bake yet will surely please everyone with a sweet tooth.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 250g almonds
  • 250g sugar
  • 240g plain flour
  • 1 egg white
  • Honey
  • Orange rind
  • Cloves (ground)
  • Orange juice


  • First, preheat the oven to 190 °C.
  • Lightly roast the almonds, let cool completely and then grind them into large pieces. Take a little and keep apart from the rest, as you will use these to garnish the finished cookies at the end.
  • Sift the flour in a large mixing bowl and add the almonds, sugar, ground cloves, grated orange rind, orange water or juice and the egg whites. Knead lightly until all the ingredients are mixed well. If you feel that the mixture is too stiff, add some water, but very little at a time. You don’t want the mixture to become too soft!
  • Take a portion of the mixture from the bowl. Shape into rectangles about 15cm long, 2cm thick and about 5 cm wide. Lightly grease a baking tray or use baking paper. Place the pieces on the tray and make crisscross patterns on the cookies with a knife. Bake for about 20 – 25 Minutes. 
  • The Kwarezimal should still be soft when you remove them from the oven. They harden as they cool down. So do not make the mistake of leaving them in the oven longer if you see them soft! While they are still warm on the cooling trays, wipe them with Honey and put the left-over chopped almonds on the top of them. Now, sit down with a cup of coffee and enjoy your homemade Maltese cookies.

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