World Figolli Day and Royal Icing Recipe

When Nanette of Gourmet Worrier invited me to participate in World Figolli Day, I said, YES!  I thought it would be fun to try to find my inner Maltese, while baking a lovely Easter tradition.

If you are not familiar with either, let me fill you in.  Nanette, is of Maltese decent, and lives in Melbourne.  She writes the wildly popular food site Gourmet Worrier, when she is not being a mum to her darling children, and a wife to Huxley.  Nanette and I kindled a friendship, a couple years ago, when our food sites happened to collide.  We instantly hit it off, and have since enjoyed each others company virtually, and look forward to sharing a glass of wine, very soon.  Her site is filled with wonderful recipes that share her love of her Maltese heritage with her readers.

Figolli is the most important Maltese Easter dessert.  They have the texture of a shortbread cookie and are cut into shapes representing fertility.  Before baking to a golden brown, a homemade almond paste is sandwiched between two of the cut out shapes.  Traditionally, these cookies were enjoyed by children, post Lent, not only by eating them but also by helping mum bake them.  Since, we don’t have children, I enjoyed the relaxing task by myself.

I followed Nanette’s recipe, almost to a T.  Her recipe is heavy citrus influenced, which I love, especially during spring time.  I could not find any lime, so added more orange zest, to my cookie base.  As well, I cut the almond paste recipe in half, as I was concerned it would be too much for my small Easter cutters.  I do adore orange blossom water, so I increased the amount by an additional cap full for the paste.  I also used some of the heavenly scented water, in my royal icing recipe.  It was lovely, and not over powering at all;  like being in Seville, sitting in the middle of an orange orchard.

I have never had Figolli, and could not wait to try the finished cookie.  Once, they were baked, and iced, I treated myself to a cup of mint tea, and a sweet bite.  They were not overly sweet, which I like.   Slightly crunchy, but with a nice, soft, almond middle.  I really loved the citrus with the almonds, as well as the orange blossom scent.  Definitely took me to a place far away from San Francisco.

Easter is still a few days away.  You still have time to make these treats with your children, or even alone.  They are easy to make, and easier to eat.

Oh, did I find my inner Maltese?  No, not yet, but I am sure there is a drop of her somewhere.

What are some of your favorite Passover and/or Easter traditions?

If you like this recipe, check these out:

Figolli around the world!






  1. I’m so thrilled that you decided to make figolli bella!

    How about we plan to meet in Malta in the not so distant future so to enable you to get in touch with your inner Maltese side quick smart!

  2. Absolutely adorable – so much better than mine! ;)

  3. What a lovely post. I hadn’t heard about figolli prior to Nanette’s declaration about world figolli day but think they are fun. I enjoyed the photo of your shapes and we too think really GOOD vanilla makes a huge difference in flavor.

  4. So cute!!! I’m loving the colors!!

  5. Nanette, I would LOVE to hit Malta with you. Can only imagine the fun we would have!!

    Lael, I had never heard of them either, until a couple years ago. First time making them, and it was a blast, even if I did it by myself. You should definitely try it with your family.

    Brian, Thanks! I thought they were cute as well as delicious. Just ate one with the my morning coffee. Hey, all the food groups were covered!

  6. What cute cookies! Perfect for Easter.



  7. Hello!
    What lovely figolli! Very very well done! I so wish we could taste all these beautiful creations…it’s the only down side of this World figolli day!
    Thanks for the link.

  8. I’ve never heard of it but that is really nice.

  9. Hi Denise,

    Found your blog when I saw figolli quite similar to mine :) I am Maltese and it seems we had the same idea (and the same cookie cutters!)

    What a coincidence! Just for the info… figolli aren’t usually made in bite sizes here in Malta… apparently it’s just you and me ;-)


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