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Sicilian Fig Cookies

Cuccidati: Sicilian Fig Cookies

Recipe by Sarah Ubertaccio


Sicilian fig cookies are a holiday tradition in my family. Every year in early December, my Nana would make them, following the recipe passed down from her mother, who we called “Nunna.” Nunna was born in Sicily and immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s. I never met her, but have heard many stories about the things she would cook, including these fig cookies.

I later learned that the Sicilian name for Nunna’s fig cookies are cuccidati. These fig-filled bites are typically topped with icing and sometimes sprinkles. However, in my family, we always ate them plain, preferring a less sweet taste that’s much more suitable for breakfast and general snacking.

Cuccidati: Sicilian Fig Cookies

Makes 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

For the dough:
4 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup white sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
½ cup whole milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking powder
Kosher salt, q.b. (a pinch)

For fig filling:
2 cups dried figs, hard tips removed
1½ cup dried dates
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts
1 orange, juiced

Method

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla. Add the milk and stir.

Gradually mix flour mixture into wet mixture. Knead together until well combined and dough forms a smooth ball. If dough is sticky, sprinkle in a little more flour until it reaches a smooth consistency.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

While dough is chilling, add chopped dried figs, dried dates, raisins, walnuts, and orange juice to a food processor. Pulse together until you have a coarse, pasty mixture.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove dough from fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a 10×8 rectangle, about ¼ inch thick

Divide the rectangle into 10 x 4 inch strips. Spoon filling down the center of each strip in log-like fashion. Fold the dough lengthwise to form a tube, enclosing the filling by gently sealing the edges.

Transfer the filled logs to the baking sheet, seam side down. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Using a sharp knife, slice the logs crosswise into 3/4-inch slices. Let cool completely, then store cookies in an airtight container or tin.

 

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Cuccidati: Sicilian Fig Cookies

Prep Time: 50 Minutes
Cooking Time: 12 Minutes
Total time: 1 Hour 2 Minutes
Servings: 4 dozen cookies
Sicilian Fig Cookes - q.b. cucina

Ingredients

For the dough:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • kosher salt, q.b. (a pinch)
For the filling:
  • 2 cups dried figs, hard tips removed
  • 1½ cup dried dates
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 orange, juiced

Instructions

1. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla. Add the milk and stir together.
2. Gradually mix flour mixture into wet mixture. Knead together until well combined and dough forms a smooth ball. If dough is sticky, sprinkle in a little more flour until it reaches a smooth consistency.
3. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
4. While dough is chilling, add chopped dried figs, dried dates, raisins, walnuts, and orange juice to a food processor. Pulse together until you have a coarse, pasty mixture.
5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. Remove dough from fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a 10x8 rectangle, about ¼ inch thick.
7. Divide the rectangle into 10 x 4-inch strips. Spoon filling down the center of each strip in a log-like fashion. Fold the dough lengthwise to form a tube, enclosing the filling by gently sealing the edges.
8. Transfer the filled logs to the baking sheet, seam side down. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
9. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Using a sharp knife, slice the logs crosswise into 3/4-inch slices. Let cool completely, then store cookies in an airtight container or tin.
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