Cherry On Top ~ Pastini biċ-Ċirasa


Pastini biċ-Ċirasa

My mum knows me more than I know myself and lucky for me, she takes what I say with a grain of salt.

Success Bil-Helu 2
By Edward Calleja

She had been telling me about this Maltese Recipe Book  for months and just how good the recipes were. We’d be sharing a cup o’ coffee together over skype when I’d catch a glimpse of a tray of cookies she’d just made and every time she would say that she had followed  a recipe from Edward’s  Book!  And every time she’d say that she’ll send it to me, and every time I tell her not to.  It was a game we played quite often, with me having the last word of course!

Or so I thought because she sent it to me anyway…knowing fully well that she’d get told off for it but also that I’d love it and sure enough, my mum was right as she always is.

This book is fast becoming my go to book for Maltese Baking.  I have had excellent results with all the recipes I’ve tried so far and I thought I’d share this one with you.  These are my favourite traditional Almond Cookies.  They are a staple at weddings and baptisms and  Cafes any time of the year!

Almond Cookies
Almond Cookies

So for those of us who can’t just pop into a cafe and order a dozen or two to take home, this is a simple recipe that will definitely satisfy your craving.  One thing you have to remember is that you need to start these the night before as they need to dry overnight or from 6-8 hours!

Another thing is that even though these are easy to make, you do need a bit of muscle as the consistency of the dough does not pipe easily. So consider yourselves warned!!



The recipe makes about 3 dozen and is adapted from Suċċess Bil-Helu by Edward Calleja.


250g pure ground almond

250g powdered sugar

3/8 cup egg whites or the whites of 3 eggs

rind of half a lemon

1tsp almond essence

rice paper optional

cherries for decoration

Place the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Beat egg whites in a separate bowl.

Slowly pour egg whites in with the almonds and sugar and stir until you see it’s well mixed.  The mixture should not be too soft.

Put rice paper in the pan.

Scoop the mixture and put in a 16-18 inch piping bag with a Wilton 1M tip. Pipe the mixture on top of rice paper or silpat as shown about an inch apart.

Place a quarter cherry on top.

Let dry overnight.

Let them dry overnight

Next morning preheat oven at 375 degrees and bake for about 10-12 mins until light golden colour depending on your oven.

Cherry On Top
Cherry On Top


28 thoughts on “Cherry On Top ~ Pastini biċ-Ċirasa”

  1. Thanks Georgina! I’ll definitely try it out..may be..will have Mo take part in the muscle activity! 🙂
    Special thanks to your Mom for passing all these yummy goodness to all of us!

  2. They look wonderful! I will have to share this with Nic and Andrea and see who is going to try it. I’m not much of a baker, but I know we will love them – especially Tony.

  3. I was lucky enough to have tasted these amazing little almond cookies they are crunchy outside and soft inside its perfect texture and with that cherry on the top just made it complete!! As always I admire all your beautiful pictures and writing G!

    1. Thank you qalbi 🙂 All these little things that I miss you know! But luckily, all things that can be made at home! Thank you for your lovely comments:)

  4. i will have to use my brain to convert the grams to pounds 😉
    We Americans shoulda (bk in the day) stuck wi the mandatory of learning metric system. But we are lazy!!!
    You are doing an amazing job my freind!

  5. Thank you duda 🙂
    250g is about 8oz
    I guess as long as you put equal amounts of almonds to sugar and then add egg whites as needed…that should do the trick!

  6. I just wanted to let you know that I will be attempting these on Friday night for Easter Sunday’s dessert!! I will keep you posted 🙂

  7. Hi. Hi. with this recipe how many pastini will I be able to make? And how is it best to store them so that they do not dry? Thanks

    1. Hi Cristina…you know, I never counted…I would have to say 2-3 dozen…but now I’m going to have to make it and let you know. As for how to store them, it would be best to put them in a tin and put some foil underneath and make sure the tin seals well. hope this helps

  8. no more schlepping back 4kilos of them to the UK at 18 euro a Kilo! Going to make some! hell and the pastizzi too as bringing back frozen food is a chore! Might even sell them in my pub!!

    Des X

  9. Hi: Did you have to order Suċċess Bil-Helu by Edward Calleja from Malta? Your pastizzi dough looks just like the flaky dough she use to make. I have not come across any Maltese that makes the dough like that……too much work. However, mom use to whip this out. thanks

    1. My mum sent me Success Bil Helu last year and the few recipes I made from it, were excellent. I made the qaghaq ta l-ghasel from there too…they came out excellent. As for the pastizzi dough…I learned from the best…my uncles and aunties are excellent bakers and I try my best to make them proud 🙂

  10. Looking at the above recipe which I am going to try out. Can you let me know if the book you refer to in written in English or Maltese as would like to purchase this.



    1. Sorry for the late reply. Sometimes the site does not alert to new messages.

      The book is in Maltese. I don’t know if there is an English version.

  11. hi just a quick question regarding the egg white consistency. Does it need to be mixed like a morange or macaroon. Or just slighting beated

      1. Thank you for your reply also can you tell me what oven temperature for a fan force oven i know it says 375 degree however i have a fan force oven. I am making them this weekend for my church bake sale

        1. Sorry I’m a bit late to reply. I hope you were happy with the result of your cookies. I think you can leave it on 375 but every oven is different. It’s good to check on them a few mins before

  12. Hi,
    Just a question about the cherry biscuits.
    Do you put them in the fridge or leave on bench top to dry overnight.

  13. Hello! I just wanted to thank you for posting this great recipe. They are so easy to make & delicious – my family and I love them.
    I make about six dozen and share them amongst family and friends for Christmas, with an extra few for my Maltese mum to give her a taste of home.

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