Christmas sweets


Christmas sweets

Almond macaroons

Beat 2 egg whites with 200g sugar and juice of half a lemon till thick;  fold in 500g pure ground almonds.  Line a baking dish with rice paper (karta tal-ostja).  Form into balls and press an almond or a cherry in each.  Bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes;  should come out of the oven still soft;  they will harden on cooling.

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Baci

Crush in a food processor one packet of morning coffee biscuits together with 100g hazelnuts. Add 2 tbs cocoa powder, 2 tots of brandy or whisky, half a tin condensed milk, some vanilla essence.  Shape into balls and insert a hazelnut in each.  Leave to dry in the fridge overnight, then cover with dark perugina chocolate.  Wrap in foil.

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Imqaret

For the pastry: mix 500g plain flour with 200g butter/margerine and 200g sugar till it resembles breadcrumbs;  add zest of one lemon and orange, some vanilla drops.  Bind with an egg and about 200ml of water.  Leave to rest in the fridge for about an hour.

Filling:  chop two packets of dates, and peel and chop one apple.  Add some tangerine zest, 5 cloves, one cinnamon stick, 1 tbs aniseed (hlewwa), 1 tbs mixed spice, 1 tbs cocoa, juice of one orange, some marsala.  Cook on a low fire till it melts; cool.  Cut pastry strips and fill with date filling;  cut into small diamond shapes and put on a dish lined with baking paper.  Brush generously with oil and bake for around 30 minutes in a moderate oven (fan electric 170).  Alternatively fry in very hot oil.  Nice served warm or cold.

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Christmas log

Crush one packet of digestive biscuits, and 100g brazil nuts; add 100g sultanas, 100g glace cherries, 100g candied peel, 100g almonds, half a tin condensed milk, 75g melted butter, a generous tot of whisky/brandy.  Shape into logs and leave in fridge to dry overnight.  Cover with melted chocolate.

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