Sunday, April 24, 2011

Figolli for World Figolli Day

Figolli? Eh? This was my first thought when I received an invitation on Facebook from Nanette of Gourmet Worrier to participate in World Figolli Day. If, like me, you have never heard of figolli, they are traditional Maltese almond pastries cut into symbolic shapes and decorated with royal icing topped with an Easter egg.

In Nanette's words:

The idea behind World Figolli Day is that you turn off the television and get off the couch and head into the kitchen with your kids, nieces and nephews and have a bonding session with some dough and royal icing and hopefully pass on a few Maltese culinary traditions whilst your at it.

Once you've completed your creations remember to take a photo of them and then upload your images to the World Figolli Day flickr group.

I am up for a challenge, so I decided to make some egg shaped figolli using this recipe.

Making figolli is a multi-stage process, and I don't recommend doing it (like I did) starting at 7.30pm after a Pilates class while needing to pack to go away for 5 days and with a sink full of washing up.  That said, it is not difficult, just time consuming.

First, you make the pastry and chill it.  While the pastry is chilling, you make almond paste (handy for using in other recipes, and I had heaps left over).  You then roll out the dough to ~ 1/4 inch thick, and cut out an even numbers of matching shapes.  Place half of the shapes on a baking paper lined cookie tray, then spoon about a teaspoon or so of almond paste on top of each half and spread it over the cookie shape, nearly but not quite to the edge.  Next, using a pastry brush, brush around the edge of each shape (outside the almond paste) with water.  Finally, place the matching half of each shape on top of it, and seal the cookie by pressing around the edges so that the water glues the edges of the top and the bottom halves of the cookies together.  You then bake the cookies until golden brown: 

Allow the cookies to cool completely.

The next step is to decorate the cookies with royal icing.  I used this recipe.  Colour the icing however you like.  I tried to make duck egg blue, but the icing turned out a little darker than that.  Once you have iced the cookie, pop a foiled mini Easter egg in the middle of it before the icing dries so that it "sticks" to the cookie, and pipe on contrasting decorations if desired: 

Once the icing has set, eat and enjoy!

To check out all of the wonderfully creative figolli, visit the Flickr link referred to at the top of this post. Thanks to Nanette for introducing me to a new and definitely enjoyable Easter treat.

Happy Easter everyone!


Amanda said...

I must admit that I am shamefully under-informed when it comes to Maltese cuisine, so thanks for this. Did you manage to get your packing done?

Cakelaw said...

Hi Amanda, got the packing done but didn't get to bed til 1.30am. Not recommended! Happy Easter.

Nanette said...

Absolutely thrilled that you decided to jump on the World Figolli Day bandwagon!

Hope you're having a wonderful Easter and that you're enjoying your figolli!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Nanette - happy Easter to you too! I enjoyed this and learned about a whole new treat.

natalia said...

Ciao bella ! Wonderful Figolli e buona Pasqua !

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

When I first heard about these I thought they were fig biscuits! They look really fun :)

Anonymous said...

These sound and look great! I'll have to remember this event for next year because I love almond!

The Caked Crusader said...

These sound amazing - I am shocked (and saddened) that I've not heard of them!

The Blonde Duck said...

I hope you had a great Easter!

Gloria Baker said...

These look amazing Cakelaw! gloria

Johanna GGG said...

these look gorgeous - I love your cheerful colours - they look like easter eggs. Hope you have had a great easter and got to relax after your figoli exertions :-)

Anonymous said...

These are pretty! Fun project for Easter!