Maltese Almond Cakes
|1 1/2 - 1 ¾||cups||
Toast the almonds on baking sheet for about 5 minutes at 400℉ (200℃).
Reset the oven for 350℉ (180℃).
Grind one-third of the almonds.
Mix the ground almonds with the flour, sugar, and cinnamon.
Add the orange extract and the rinds.
Mix well. Blend in the slivered almonds.
Gradually, add enough water to make a stiff dough (the dough will be sticky).
Form the dough into cake about 7 inches long, 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick.
Bake for 35 minutes.
Optional: While they are still hot, brush the Kwaresimal with honey, and sprinkle with slivered toasted almonds.
Let the cakes cool for about 20 minutes, then with a serrated knife cut them into slices about ⅜ inch thick.
Variations: Here are a few of the classic variations: Hazelnuts can be substituted for the almonds.
You can if you prefer all of the nuts, or fewer of them.
You can also insert some whole blanched almonds.
Remember the more nuts you grind to a powder, the more liquid you will need to make the dough; and the fewer nuts you grind, the less liquid.
In Malta these cakes would often be made with orange-flower water, which is hard to obtain here.
Orange extract or liqueur (or other liqueur or rum) can be used as a part of the liquid.