A Sweet Tradition: My Encounter with ‘Kwarezimal’

Hello, dear readers! Today, I want to share with you a sweet treat that has become a beloved part of my culinary repertoire – ‘Kwarezimal’. This traditional Maltese dessert, with its unique texture and aromatic flavors, has brought a touch of the Mediterranean to my kitchen. Join me as we explore the history, baking tips, and serving suggestions for this delightful confection.

Kwarezimal Recipe

Kwareżimal - Maltese Lenten biscuit - Apron & Whisk


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 4 people
Calories 350 kcal


  • 1 oven


  • 400 gr flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 300 g sugar
  • 200 g blanched almonds
  • 4 drops almond oil
  • 100 g cherries pitted
  • 2 tablespoons cane syrup
  • 2 teaspoons mixture of fresh spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons rosewater
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 k.s. coconut powder
  • 3 k.s. water
  • 1 ½ cup cane syrup
  • 200 g peeled and grated almond


  • 1.butter two pans and the flour.
  • Add flour, baking powder, and coconut in a small dish. Add sugar, almonds, almond oil, spices and cloves.
  • 3.Stir it all together and add the cherries, and shavings lemon and orange. Stir the syrup and add the rosewater. Stir again, and carefully add enough water so the mixture is neither too sparse nor too dry.
  • 4.Wet hands and create pieces that look like sausages. Place on baking trays and press lightly (leave enough space between them because in the oven melts slightly). Bake for 22 minutes over medium heat.
  • 5.Get them out of the oven and let them sit for 2 minutes. As far as cover with warm syrup and sprinkle it with grated almonds.


Keyword baking powder, flour

About Kwarezimal

Kwareżimal - Maltese Lenten biscuit - Apron & Whisk

‘Kwarezimal’, derived from the Latin word ‘quaresima’ meaning Lent, is a traditional Maltese dessert typically prepared during the Lenten season. This sweet, nutty delicacy, made without eggs or dairy in observance of Lenten fasting rules, is characterized by its use of almonds, honey, and aromatic spices like cinnamon and cloves.

Cooking Tips

  • Use good quality almonds for the best flavor. Toast them lightly before grinding to enhance their nuttiness.
  • Don’t skimp on the spices. They give ‘Kwarezimal’ its distinctive aroma and depth of flavor.
  • For a glossy finish, brush your ‘Kwarezimal’ with honey while it’s still warm from the oven.
  • Be careful not to overbake. The bars should be slightly soft in the center as they will firm up upon cooling.
  • Experiment with adding citrus zest or different spices to make the recipe your own.

Serving Suggestions

Eat Like a Local- Kwarezimal recipe

  • Serve your ‘Kwarezimal’ with a cup of strong coffee or tea for a satisfying afternoon treat.
  • Pair it with a glass of sweet Maltese wine for a truly authentic experience.
  • For a festive touch, garnish your ‘Kwarezimal’ with chopped pistachios or a dusting of powdered sugar.
  • Consider serving slices of fresh citrus fruits on the side to balance the sweetness of the dessert.
  • For a modern twist, serve your ‘Kwarezimal’ with a dollop of Greek yogurt or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


  • Q: Can I use other nuts in place of almonds? A: While almonds are traditional, you can experiment with other nuts like hazelnuts or pistachios.
  • Q: What if I don’t have orange blossom water? A: You can substitute it with rose water or simply use more citrus zest.
  • Q: Can I make ‘Kwarezimal’ gluten-free? A: Yes, you can replace the regular flour with a gluten-free blend. Just be sure to adjust the baking time as needed.
  • Q: How should I store my ‘Kwarezimal’? A: Store it in an airtight container at room temperature. It should keep for up to a week.
  • Q: Can I freeze ‘Kwarezimal’? A: Yes, this dessert freezes well. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

My journey with ‘Kwarezimal’ has been a delightful exploration of tradition, flavor, and the joy of baking. This dessert, with its humble ingredients and rich history, is a testament to the enduring charm of traditional recipes. As you bake your own ‘Kwarezimal’, I hope it brings a touch of Mediterranean warmth to your kitchen. Happy baking, and here’s to the sweet joys of homemade desserts!

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