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Pastini tar-raħal

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3 tbsp Aniseed
1 tsp Ground cloves
1 tsp Cinnamon
4 Eggs (yolk)
4 Eggs (white)
400gr Light brown sugar You can also use granulated sugar
500gr Flour (plain)
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tbsp Lemon zest
1 tbsp Orange zest
For the royal icing
300gr Icing sugar
1 tbsp Lemon juice
1 Egg (whites)
1 drop Pink food colouring

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Pastini tar-raħal

  • Medium


  • For the royal icing


What goes better with a pastina tar-raħal than a freshly-brewed cup of tea? How about tea-infused icing?! Or better known in Malta as “ġelu”. Hope you enjoy these traditional biskuttini tar-raħal that are still a favourite among the Maltese.

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I begin by whisking the egg whites using an electric mixer (unless you need a really good arm workout!). Continue whisking until the eggs turn white and form soft peaks.


Then, gently sprinkle the light brown sugar (you can also use white granulated sugar) and turn the electric mixer back on. The mixture will turn brown at the point. Mix in the egg yolks and lemon juice and continue beating.


In a small bowl,  create the spice mixture by mixing together the aniseeds (if they come whole, crush them with the back of a spoon), the cinnamon and the ground cloves. Sprinkle the orange and lemon zest in the eggs and sugar mixture. Mix in the spice mixture too and beat together.


Using a spatula, fold in the flour and the baking soda and mix well until all the ingredients are now combined.


The mixture is ready to turn into pastini! Dust a little flour on your hands and start forming small balls and place on a baking try lined with parchment paper. Gently press down to form thick cookies. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 10-15 minutes until they begin to look golden brown.


Time for the tea-infused royal icing! Brew a cup of tea using two PG Tips tea bags and let it cool. In a glass bowl, sift the icing sugar and add the egg white. Once cooled, add in the tea, the lemon juice and mix well. It may look dry in the beginning, but continue mixing until the desired texture is achieved. Add a drop of the traditional pink food colouring.


Once the pastini are cooled, pipe the icing in a circular, snake-like pattern.

Enjoy with a cup of freshly-brewed PG Tips tea!


More Recipes: Għadam ta’ Novembru

The Cook

I will be sharing with you my daily experiences with food, whether that’s shopping for the right ingredients, understanding products and sharing with you simple culinary skills that I have learnt along the way. My mission is to make food preparation more enjoyable and rewarding.

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2 Comments Hide Comments

Worked amazingly and super tasty!!! Two small comments – the lemon juice step is missing in the icing method; also the amount of tea that needs to be added is super minimal – i have expected to need to add much more of the cup of tea 🙂

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