Ottijiet (Maltese spice biscuits)

Ottijiet (Maltese spice biscuits)
  • Serves icon Makes 16
  • Time icon Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 10-12 min, plus chilling

Ottijiet biscuits are spiced shortbread biscuits traditionally eaten at teatime in Malta. They’re so light you’ll want second helpings…

If you’re planning an afternoon tea laden with spices and exotic flavours, these pistachio and rosewaater scones are a must.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
154kcals
Fat
7.8g (3.5g saturated)
Protein
3.1g
Carbohydrates
17.4g (5.6g sugars)
Fibre
1.1g
Salt
0.3g
Calories
154kcals
Fat
7.8g (3.5g saturated)
Protein
3.1g
Carbohydrates
17.4g (5.6g sugars)
Fibre
1.1g
Salt
0.3g

Ingredients

  • 250g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds, finely ground
  • Large pinch ground cloves
  • 85g cold salted butter, cubed
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 85g golden caster sugar
  • Finely grated zest 1 large orange, plus 1 tbsp juice
  • Finely grated zest 1 large lemon, plus 1 tbsp juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 medium free-range egg
  • 2 tbsp milk to brush
  • 5 tbsp sesame seeds

You’ll also need…

  • 2 large baking sheets lined with non-stick baking paper

Method

  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour, spices, butter and salt until they resemble breadcrumbs. Tip into a bowl and stir in the sugar and citrus zests.
  2. Mix both citrus juices with the vanilla and egg. Make a well in the dry ingredients, then pour in the wet mixture. Stir quickly with a wooden spoon, then use your hands to bring together into a smooth dough. Flatten to a 15cm x 21cm rough rectangle, wrap in cling film and chill the dough for 30 minutes (see Make Ahead).
  3. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Slice the chilled dough into 16 even pieces (cut in half lengthways, then slice each piece into 8), then roll each into a long sausage about 18cm long. Fold and twist each length into a figure 8, brush the ends with a little milk and press together to seal. Space apart on the baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.
  4. Brush the dough with milk, sprinkle over the sesame seeds, then chill again for 15 minutes. Bake for 10-12 minutes until puffed and golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (see Make Ahead).

delicious. tips

  1. Cover and chill the dough for up to 3 days. The biscuits will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

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