Cuccidati Italian fig cookies recipe
Cuccidati, or Italian fig cookies are traditional treats made during the Christmas season.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter softened
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice fresh
- 1/4 cup nonpareils colored sprinkles
- 2 cups dried figs
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup dates optional
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 3/4 cup toasted almonds
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup orange marmalade
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
- 1/4 cup brandy or vermouth
- 1 teaspoon lemon orange zest
- For your Italian fig cookies filling, combine the raisins, dates, and figs and put them in a food processor to be finely chopped.
- Add the chopped walnuts, almonds, and chocolate chips. Mix well.
- Put the marmalade, honey, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and wine. Mix well in a bowl.
- Cover the bowl and store in the refrigerator for about 8 hours.
- To make the dough, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl.
- Add the softened butter, and then the egg, milk and vanilla. Mix until all ingredients are well-combined.
- Take the dough and put it in a floured surface. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
- Divide the dough in half, put them in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Cover 2 large baking dish with baking paper or lightly grease them. Set aside.
- On the work table, sprinkle flour on the surface so the dough doesn’t stick when you work on it.
- Take one quarter of the dough and roll it into a square that measures about 12 inches. Then cut the dough into rectangles that approximately measures 4 by 3 inches.
- Take the filling out the refrigerator. Put 2 spoonful of filling at the center of each rectangle.
- Fold close each dough lengthwise, one side a little on top of each other and pinch close each end to seal the dough.
- Turn the filled doughs to make the seams face downward, and carefully flatten each dough a little.
- Sprinkle some flour on a knife and using that, cut the dough crosswise, about 1-inch wide pieces. Do this for all the filled Italian fig cookies dough.
- Now, on to baking the cookies. Arrange the dough pieces at least half an inch apart on the baking pan, and bake for about 15 to twenty minutes, or until golden brown. When the cookies are done, remove from the oven and put on a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, mix the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice. Mix well until it has a smooth consistency. But make sure it’s not runny.
- Brush icing or pour a teaspoon or so of it on top of each cookie and then sprinkle some of the nonpareils on top of that. Let the cookies completely dry before stacking.
Wrap these Italian fig cookies up in colorful boxes or printed cellophane bags, tie ribbons on each, and give them away as presents. Or just stack them on a serving dish and serve to cap off your dinner parties or during your Sunday family dinners.
If you think you have made too much dough and filling you can keep them in the refrigerator and bake them for another day. However, they don’t have the same shelf life. The dough may only last up to 4 days while the filling can last up to 7 days. You can also opt to bake all the cookies and store them in an airtight container, and they will last up to 10 days. If you want the cookies to have a longer shelf life, freeze them before putting them in an airtight container, and they will last up to a month.
Yields approximately 5 dozen/60 cookies