The recipe is very similar to Qagħaq tal-Ġunġlien (Maltese Biscuit Rings with Sesame Seeds). It is quite easy to shape a number 8, actually easier than you think. Using this method you should get equally shaped (well approximately) finished products.

With this recipe you should be able to make 10 of them. You can dunk these in hot tea or coffee, that’s how we like them 🙂

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  • 250g plain flour
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 1 ½  teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • ½  teaspoon ground aniseed
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 90g salted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon orange flower water – Ilma zahar (if not available add another tablespoon of water)
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Sesame seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. If you are using a food processor, start by adding the flour, sugar, spices and baking powder into the food processor and pulse for a few minutes. If not using a processor add the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Add the butter and blend until all butter has been incorporated into the flour. If using your hands, mix the butter in with your fingertips until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. In a small bowl beat the egg and mix in the orange zest, water, orange flower water and oil. Mix well. Add to the dry ingredients whilst food processor is running and blend until the dough comes together. Again if using your hands, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients mix well until you get a soft dough.
  4. Divide the dough into 10 equal sized balls (about 50g each), a bit bigger than golf balls and roll into thin long sausage like shapes, about 30cm long. Shape into a number 8 and carefully transfer into a plate with sesame seeds turning over to cover both sides with the seeds. Place on a tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake in the preheated oven for about 20-22 minutes.
  5. Let cool down and serve with tea or coffee.