Maltese Sesame Biscuits with olive oil

qaghaq logo.jpg

This photo was taken by Marconia during a live tv show.

I adjusted Renato Briffa’s recipe to make these traditional biscuits using olive oil and they have no added refined sugar and no eggs, no butter or lard.’

You will need:

300g flour
100ml olive oil
1 tablespoon baking powder
A few drops of a good vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon
Zest of 2 tangerines OR instead of mixed citrus use the zest of 1 lime
110g sugar or the equivalent in stevia
75ml water
Pinch of ground aniseed and a few drops of anisette
50 g sesame seeds, use the amount that you prefer

Mix the olive oil into the sifted flour using a into the flour.
Add the baking powder, vanilla and citrus zest.
Mix the water,aniseed, anisettte and sugar or steiva in a separate container.
Mix everything together and form the dough.
Allow to rest for an hour in the fridge.
Cut the dough into 20 equal portions, weigh them so that the cookies are the same size.
If you prefer a smaller size cookie, divide the dough into 40 pieces.
Roll each portion on a piece of baking paper covered in sesame seeds.
It is traditional to form the dough into an ‘8’ shape but you can also form them into rings.
Place on a baking dish covered with baking paper.
Bake at 160 C for 25 minutes.
Allow to cool and harden before removing them from the baking sheet.
Place on a wire rack and allow them to dry up for a couple of days before serving. I left my in the oven to cool overnight.

‘If you are new to Maltese qaghaq, do not expect a cookie crumble texture nor that of shortcake, these are hard rusks, the best dunking biscuits  I have come across 🙂 ‘

qaghaq biz zejt taz zebbuga 2

Pre-baking, Photo Ian Noel Pace taken during a live tv show

The texture should be dry and hard and to achieve this you need to allow them to cook for a longer period of time and then to dry out for at least a daybefore serving.  I turn my oven off and leave them in the oven overnight.   In an airtight container, they will last for a few weeks.

I use sesame seeds by Schwartz, liquid vanilla essence by Foster Clarke at Ix Xirja, Stevia by Tate and Lyle at Ix Xirja, flour, baking powder by St Georges Brand, limes by Big Fresh.


From the heart of the Mediterranean.... Thank you !

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