Tender crumbed, lemon-scented shortbread, filled with homemade marzipan with a hint of orange blossom. A smudge of royal icing and a surprising touch on top: a foil-wrapped milk chocolate egg. That’s how you make figolli, a traditional Easter cookie from Malta.
Malta is a tiny Mediterranean island positioned between Sicily and Tunisia whose cuisine is as wonderfully motley as its collaborating cultures. My darling mother-in-law is Maltese (she came to Australia with her family on a ship at age 16), and since the language is a mix of Arabic and Italian, we often throw words at each other: “hey, do you say koursi for chair in Arabic?” and “hey, do you say tayyara for plane in Maltese?”