Preparing for Figolli.. Maltese Easter biscuits

We love figolli – those kitsch but beautiful and delicious Maltese Easter biscuits.  Very simple – but a little time consuming  My recipe isn’t the traditional Maltese version as that calls for the thick, nutty middle marzipan layer as  a lot of children here in the UK aren’t keen on the taste, but I have found the following goes down well with all ages.

First come the biscuits – you will need various biscuit medium sized cutters (hearts, rabbits, stars, circles, eggs, anything!) – this should make about 20 biscuits and we usually make 4 batches


  • 6 oz of plain flour
  • 4 oz cold unsalted butter
  • 2 oz castor sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • zest of an orange or a lemon (optional)
  • up to a tablespoon of milk

Mix the flour, salt, zest and cold butter cut into small chunks until they form a breadcrumb like mixture.

add the vanilla essence and sugar first,
then add enough milk to form a firm dough (you really don’t need more than about half a tablespoon depending on how much vanilla you have added).

Cover the dough in cling film and chill for 30 minutes while the oven heats up to Gas Mark 6, 160c in the fan oven.

Cut out the shapes on a floured board and cook on a greased baking sheet for about 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. (I always peek at 15 and see how brown they are!).
Let the biscuits go completely cold before icing. (I usually do the icing the next day).

The icing and sprinkles extravaganza!
You’ll need some apricot jam, (and marzipan if you would like to use it), some block Royal icing in different colours ready to roll, some icing sugar (to roll the icing and make the icing for drizzles and fixing eggs),

enough small chocolate eggs for each biscuit,
natural icing colours that you like and
loads of different types of sprinkles.
You can be very sophisticated, or you can just go a little mad – it doesn’t matter.  I usually use a mix of chocolate and white icing and drizzle in whatever colour takes my fancy.

Lay all the biscuits out on a sheet of greaseproof paper
and heat the apricot jam in a small pan.
Brush each biscuit lightly with apricot jam and

then cut out a corresponding shape in icing and gently press on top of the biscuit and get rid of any air pockets.

If you are using marzipan too, then do this before the icing (it will need the apricot jam to stick) and leave again for a few hours or overnight to dry out a little.

When you are ready to decorate,
mix up some very stiff white icing and put a small blob on each iced biscuit –
stick on a chocolate egg!

Then mix up some runny icing in your chosen colour and drizzle with a teaspoon randomly (or precisely) all over the biscuits.
Throw sprinkles on!

Leave to dry for about 2 hours then bag or box up to give as gifts or eat with a coffee – they really are fabulous and a wonderful treat!

We make enough with Maltese friends for the boys  to share with their classmates, along with a little history. Spreading the love!

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