Today’s post consists of something slightly different, as I’ve teamed up with The Malta Tourism Authority to bring you a delicious Maltese inspired dessert recipe and little insight into why this is where you should be booking your next trip! Covid restrictions here in the UK are currently quite limiting to travel and holiday plans. However, I thought it would still be nice to share this with you and hopefully provide a little inspiration and something to look forward to once it’s safe to start travelling again! So grab a cuppa, or iced coffee (with this weather) and enjoy my Maltese inspired cookies & travel guide!
is located between Sicily and the North African Coast. It’s known for it’s incredible historic sites, beautiful beaches and not to mention, glorious weather! Malta has a little something for everyone. Whether you’re someone who likes to spend the day sunbathing by the pool, hiking, swimming in the sea or exploring the temples and ruins. There’s also a fantastic selection of hotels, including luxurious 5* hotels or more secluded Air BnB’s & self catered apartments.
Some of the most impressive beaches on the island are located Northern and Western shorelines. Think glistening azure waters and glorious golden sands. Again, depending on your preferences, Malta offers a diverse selection of beaches. Whether you’re looking for something more secluded and private, the perfect sunbathing spot, somewhere for kids or to dabble in water sports. Some of the beaches that should be a must for your trip include:
- Golden Bay
- Ghajn Bay
- Peters Pool
- The blue lagoon
- Ramla Bay
Sports & Activities:
If you’re someone who loves to keep busy and active on holiday, there will be plenty of activities to engage in. You can enjoy a wide variety of water sports, snorkelling and scuba diving and as mentioned above, Malta is home to some absolutely beautiful beaches! I personally could spend all day in the sea snorkelling, so I’m pretty easy to keep happy on holiday! You can also take in the surrounding scenery by exploring some of the various hiking trails. Additionally, for the adventurers of you out there, there’s also rock climbing, mountain biking and paragliding.
Clearly a topic that wasn’t going to be missed here… the food!
Whilst in Malta, you couldn’t not sample the delicious, traditional Mediterranean cuisine. Food markets are the perfect place to get your hands on authentic Maltese dishes. Maltese food is very seasonal and typically quite rustic in style. There’s an abundance of fresh vegetables, fish dishes cheeses and of course, decadent desserts!
The recipe that I’m going to share with you is actually for some Maltese inspired cookies. They’re the perfect balance of crunchy and chewy-ness. I love the sweet undertones from the ground almonds and crunchy pistachio topping! But… we’ll get to those in a little bit!
Some of the traditional Maltese foods that you should definitely sample:
- Maltese olives
- Kapunata (similar to ratatouille)
- Maltese bread
- Stuffed aubergines
- Figolla (a special Maltese Easter cake)
So, lets talk about these cookies! The traditional Maltese biscuits that I’ve taken inspiration from are called Kwarezimal. They were originally prepared to enjoy during fasting periods in lent and are still extremely popular for a light dessert or sweet snack! One of the main ingredients in these is ground almonds, which add a subtle sweet & fragrant flavour. I’ve adapted my version of this recipe to make sure these are vegan & GF!
I’ve also used these flavours and ingredients to to create this super summery sponge cake! It’s a chocolate & pistachio sponge with hints of orange zest. It’s the perfect pairing for these cookies to create the ultimate dessert spread! The recipe for the cake is also listed below!
Why you should make these cookies?
- They’re easy to make.
- They’re completely dairy free and vegan friendly!
- Gluten free
- Great for sharing or gifting
- The perfect sweet snack to pair with a cup of tea!
- Makes a fairly large batch, so you’ll be well stocked up with snacks.
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 2 cups GF self raising flour
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- Zest from 1 orange
- Zest from 1 lemon
- tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 tbsp water
- honey to glaze
- rose petals and pistachios to garnish
- Preheat your oven to 170c and line a tray with baking paper.
- Combine all of your dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and roughly mix together.
- Melt the vegan butter and pour this and the rest of the wet ingredients into the dry mixture. Bring everything together to form a smooth dough, adding more water if needed.
- Mould into a ball and place into the fridge for 1 hour to chill.
- Shape your mixture into cookies and pop into the oven for around 20 minutes to bake, until golden.
- Allow to cool on a wire wrack once cooked. Drizzle with a little honey and sprinkle with pistachios and rose petals to finsih.
Rose & Pistachio Chocolate Almond Cake
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 2 cups caster sugar
- 2 cup GF self raising flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 1/2 cups non dairy milk mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp chopped pistachio nuts
- 1/3 cup ground almonds
- 1-2 tbsp dried rose petals (depending on how fragrant you would like this!)
Frosting (vegan butter icing)
- 4 heaped tbsp vegan stick butter
- 2 cups icing sugar
- Dash pink food colouring/natural berry powder
- Preheat your oven to 175c and line two loose bottom cake tins with baking paper. ( I tend to line the bottom, then grease the sides with vegan butter) I have used 16cm tins here)
- Combine the vinegar, milk and oil and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add all of your dry ingredients and mix well. Pour in the wet mixture and fold until everything is fully incorrporated.
- Divide your cae batter evenly between your tins and place into the oven to bake for around 30 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Allow to cool competely whilst preparing the icing.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar whislt mixing, then the food colouring/powder until you reach your desired shade of pink.
- Sandwich the cakes together using your frosting, then use the remaing mixture to cover the cake! Decorate with toppings of choice and enjoy!