Spring is the perfect time to try new and different recipes, so I welcomed the challenge to find a new holiday cookie from somewhere exotic to make this spring. After searching I found these traditional Maltese Figolli Cookies, which are tasty pastry filled with almond paste.
The cookies are made with a buttery, lemon dough that is rolled and cut into spring shapes. Before baking a small amount of almond paste is spread onto a cookie, and an identical shape is placed on top. I used purchased almond paste, but you could make it from scratch.
I made the strategic error of making these the day after my daughter returned to college for spring break, and she is much better at decorating cookies than I am!
So I tried and failed to pipe designs onto the cookies, and then I gave up and simply flooding the cookies with Royal Icing and added candy.
It is traditional to top these Figolli Cookies from Malta with a foil wrapped Easter Egg, so I did that with some of the cookies and decorated the rest with pastel colored M&Ms and Sixlets.
I love the combination of the lemon flavored pastry with almonds, and of course the candy on top is an added bonus.
Maltese Figolli Cookies
- 1 2/3 c. flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 egg yolk
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 Tablespoon water or more
- almond paste
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon Meringue powder
- 2 cup powdered sugar
- 3 Tablespoon water
- candy and foil eggs
- To make the dough put the flour and butter in a food processor and pulse until crumbly.
- Add the sugar and salt and pulse to mix.
- Add the egg yolk and lemon zest and mix.
- Add the water, 1 Tablespoon at a time until the dough forms into a ball.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut out Easter shapes.
- Put a shape on a cookie sheet, then cut some almond paste and place on the dough. Top with another shape.
- Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes until lightly brown.
- Cool on wire racks.
- When the cookies are cool mix the meringue powder with the powdered sugar and water until it is of spreading consistency.
- Use candy to decorate the cookies.
Inspired by this recipe at malta.com.
We all associate cookies with the holidays in December, but spring holidays are a great time for cookies also!