Quaresimali genovesi

Also Genoa has its “quaresimali”, colorful biscuits prepared without animal fat to respect the principle of abstinence in the days that precede Easter

The origin of the Genoese “quaresimali” is very ancient and has been handed down for centuries thanks to the historic patisseries of the Ligurian capital who continue to produce them with the care and expertise of which they are custodians.

Marzipan replaces the animal fat, thanks to an intuition of the Augustinian nuns of the church of San Tommaso (now destroyed) who, probably during the sixteenth century, gave life to these flavorsome biscuits prepared only with flour, almonds, sugar and orange blossom water.

During the nineteenth century, a famous Genoese pastry shop adopted the original “quaresimali” recipe, which otherwise risked being lost following the destruction of the convent.



250 grams of peeled almonds

200 grams of sugar

2 egg whites

flour (as required)

2 or 3 teaspoons of orange blossom water

jam (fig & lemon or apricot)

sugar granules

fennel seed dragees


sugar sprinkles



Put the almonds together with the sugar in the mixer. Beat the egg whites until stiff and gently add them to the almond and sugar mixture until the mixture is well compacted and uniform. Add the orange blossom water and the amount of flour needed to dry the dough until it no longer sticks to your hands.

Roll out the dough to a thickness of one centimeter and make rings, discs and diamond shapes. Spread the fig & lemon or apricot jam on one of the two parts, and then overlay a second pressing lightly to make it stick. Decorate the rings and lozenges with jam, brush all three types of biscuit and bake at approximately 180 ° for about ten minutes.
To decorate the round biscuits make a slight depression in the center, prepare some icing (icing sugar, lemon juice, food coloring and warm water or your preferred flavor of syrup ) to be used to fill the hollow in the center of the biscuits and decorate with sprinkles.

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