Cuccidati –Italian fig cookies

From a Gourmet Magazine, Dec. 2002 recipe (you can click here  for the original recipe), these cookies are a traditional Italian goodie which are complicated and have a lot of ingredients but are very satisfying to make and are delicious.

Attention! It is a two day project.

 For filling

  1. 1 cup soft dried Mission figs
  2. ¾ cups raisins
  3. ¾ cup honey
  4. ¼ cup brandy
  5. 1 ½ teaspoon grated orange zest
  6. 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  7. 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  8. ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  9. ¼ teaspoon. freshly grated nutmeg
  10. ¾ cup whole almonds, toasted & chopped
  11. ¾ cup walnuts toasted & chopped

For pastry dough

  1. 4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoon sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 cup cold unsalted butter
  6. 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  7. ½ cup milk
  8. 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
  9. 1 teaspoon grated orange or lemon zest

For icing

  1. 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  2. ½ teaspoon vanilla
  3. 1 ½ to 2 tablespoon  fresh orange juice
  4. nonpareils

Make filling:

Pulse figs and raisins in a food processor until finely chopped, then stir together with remaining filling ingredients in a bowl. Chill, covered, at least 8 hours.

 Make dough:

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and blend with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) just until most of mixture resembles a coarse corn meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Add eggs, milk, vanilla, and zest and stir with a fork until a soft dough forms. Halve dough and gather each half into a ball, then flatten each half into a rough 6 by 4 inch rectangle between sheets of plastic wrap. Chill until firm, at least 8 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper

 Form cookies

  1. With about ½ cup of dough, roll into a rope 1”in diameter.
  2. Roll to about 4”in width. Trim both sides to 3 ½”.
  3. Arrange filling in a 1 inch wide log lengthwise down center of each strip, then fold sides of each strip up over filling to enclose it, pinching edges together to seal.
  4. Turn rolls seam-sides down and press gently to flatten seams.
  5. Cut logs crosswise with a floured knife into 1 ½ inch wide slices and arrange ½ inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake cookies in batches in middle of oven until golden around the edges – 16-20 minutes.

Make icing while first batch of cookies bake

Whisk together confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and enough orange juice to make a pourable icing. Brush icing on warm cookies and decorate with nonpareils then cool completely

cuccidati decorated with jimmies

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