Ottijiet ~ Figure Eight Cookies


I have to tell you that today’s recipe goes against everything I believe in  and that is using boxed cake mixes in baking.  I have used them maybe twice in my life and it was only because my kids begged me to.  Does that make me a cake snob I wonder…

Even though they have a nice light and moist texture and they keep for such a long time unlike most home baked cakes, I find them to be very artificial.  If I do come across a recipe, and one of the ingredients says “one boxed yellow cake mix”, I run as fast as I can.

So when my friend Mary offered me some of her home made biscotti with my tea, my eyes lit up until she said those dreaded words!!

“It was such an easy recipe Georgina!  It calls for one boxed cake mix…….” and everything started fading after that.  My ears shut out the rest of the recipe, and my nose wrinkled and I just nodded and smiled as though everything was ok in the world.

Original Recipe
Original Recipe

But I felt I owed it to Mary to try them out because she did make them especially for me…and was prepared to politely say something like…

“Mmm, nice Mary”…
…but instead found myself actually saying…
“OMG…these biscotti remind me of the Ottijiet we used to have in Malta growing up…please please share the recipe”

So now I am a snob no more and you will find at least three boxed cake mixes at any given time in my kitchen.

Today was a rather cool day and I really felt the need for something sweet with my nice cuppa tea. Something to dunk…whatever it was, it had to be strong enough to withstand a three second dunk in my hot beverage and not fall apart before it makes its way to my mouth.

Ottijiet, which translated means the figure eights are perfect for such a deed.  They are hard and crunchy Maltese type cookies and can be dunked with success every time.   I used to make these Ottijiet using the Figolli dough  but have since converted to using this recipe.  The original recipe is used to make biscotti but I’ve adapted the recipe to make these lovely dunkers.


1 package yellow cake mix
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
8 tbsp cooled melted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
zest of half a lemon
sesame seeds optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Form the dough by putting all the ingredients together and forming into a ball.
Let rest for half an hour.
Cut the dough in half.
Form into 2 equal rolls.
Cut into two inch sections.
Form each section into a foot long thin rope.
If using sesame seeds, sprinkle some on the cutting board and roll the dough over them so they will stick and not fall off.
Form into the figure 8
Bake for about 18 minutes until golden in colour
Makes 2 dozen 8’s

9 thoughts on “Ottijiet ~ Figure Eight Cookies”

  1. Wow, I would have never known that you kept boxed cake mix in your kitchen! And I don’t taste the cakemix in these cookies at all.. you are just magical, m’dear!

  2. Oh my gosh, you made me laugh so hard G, yes, I am just like you too except you know that I do use Yellow Cake mix for the booze cakes too and they are wonderful so I guess that they are good for something and I had NO IDEA that these were made with cake mix. ha ha ha you had me fooled. I thought they were wonderful too and great with my latte. =) You know that I am not a biscotti person but these were quite nice as they were not that sweet to me.

    1. So you’re not a snob either then Ivy…ha ha…glad I’m not alone….we do share a lot of similarities and not just in baking:) SO FAR, these are the only things I use cake mix in…but I’ll leave it at that as I don’t want to eat my words too:) I will make you my biscotti one day…I might convert you:)

  3. Hello, my dearest Georgina, looks lovely, now for us europeans, what is yellow cake mix? The rest of ingrediants we have! They look really good and nice! Drool, drool! Xxxx

    1. Hi Terrie, I’m sure you have something similar in Holland…and because you like doing things from scratch you were probably was never inclined to buy them. They’re cake mixes…you buy them in packets/boxes…and all you have to do is add eggs and oil I believe. You’ll have to get the basic cake mix. No flavours. Try them Terrie…I think you’ll like. I remember we used to buy two types of Ottijiet in Malta…some were light in colour and some where more yellow and sweeter and harder. My sister and I used to call them Ottijiet tal-halib tal-bott 🙂 Cause that’s what they tasted like. Nice to see you here Terrie 🙂

    1. Ha ha…we should co found a baking snob society 🙂

      I also hate having egg yolk/white left over when the recipes ask for just part of the egg and usually just use the whole egg or omit it all the way. Well I tried this with this recipe and it just didn’t turn out right…so if you are like me and are considering to alter the recipe, I don’t suggest doing that cause they won’t turn out right but will grow and flatten to no shape or form.

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