Malta – Kwarezimal

Kwarezimal, named from ‘quaresima’, the Italian word for Lent, are spiced biscuits eaten during Lent. They traditionally have no dairy products in (though mine have a little butter, but you can use vegetable fat instead), and are vegan, as animal products were usually avoided during Lent. Surprisingly, sugar wasn’t considered something to ‘give up’ at that time (I guess they didn’t live in a modern sugar-filled world), so these have plenty of sugar in. Even though it’s the wrong part of the year, these are great for eating in autumn because of the spices.

Kwarezimal are also pretty large. The recipe I used (below) says they should be 14cm long and 7cm wide. Needless to say, when I shared them with my friends, we all started by eating only a half. They can be made smaller, but I was trying to stick to the recipe (got my tape measure out and everything). 

As I’m writing this, the opposition parties in parliament have called for contempt proceedings against the government over unpublished legal advice. I don’t even know where to begin writing about this, so all I will say is, where will this end?! 

This post is part of a series called ‘Brexit Baking’, where I bake my way around all 28 EU Member States. You can read more about it here.IMG_6339tKwarezimal (recipe from here)

150g self-raising flour
50g wholemeal flour
25g butter
1 tbsp orange-blossom water (or lemon juice)
200g ground almonds
125g sugar
75g candied peel
2 tsp cocoa
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
zest of 1 lemon
approx. 100ml water
1/2 tsp honey
15g chopped nuts

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Heat and melt the butter in a saucepan. Sift both flours in a bowl. Add the bran from the wholemeal flour back to the mixture. Add the butter and orange-flower water/lemon juice to the mixture and stir well.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients to the mixture. Add some water to knead into a stiff dough. Form the dough into shapes (approximately 14cm long, 7cm wide and 2cm thick).
  3. Bake for about 20 minutes (when ready, the kwarezimal should be slightly golden brown.) Brush some honey on the top of each cookie while still hot and sprinkle with nuts. Serve cold.

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