Italian Fig Cookies (Cucidati)

Flavorful, moist, tender cookie filled with dried fruit and hints of citrus. The Italian Fig Cookie or Cucidati is a Christmas cookie must every year!

Cucidati or Italian Fig Cookies is the one standing tradition remaining in our family.

My aunt makes up a large batch of dough and fig filling every year. We all come together to help her bake the hundreds and hundreds of cookies. It’s usually a fun adventure!

I have consulted with her for years about how to cut down the recipe so most home bakers wouldn’t run to the hills in fear of the sheer size of her recipe. This year I just kept hounding and consulting with her until we finally came up with great results.

See the above photo for what I was dealing with…numerous recipes from years past! So many different ones!

Every Sicilian family has its own recipe and this is ours, sort of. I tested her dough recipe over and over until I almost lost track.

Her recipes use shortening and butter but the first one I was working from stated either / or. Ughhhh. The first batch came out hard as rocks!

So, back to her house to pull out the recipes and ask questions.

Come to find out she uses MARGARINE and shortening. Well, when it comes to cookies I’m a pure butter kind of baker. So the dough recipe I’m sharing is from loads of research and testing. But the fig filling is all my aunt’s.

Italian Fig Cookies (Cucidati)

First, place the coarsely chopped pecans, orange zest, dried figs, dates, and raisins into the food processor. Give it a couple of pulses to start grinding the fruit.

In a separate bowl whisk together the granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

Add the water and sugar mixture to the food processor and pulse until it grinds everything and comes together. You could also use fresh orange juice in place of the water for a stronger citrus flavor.

Most recipes use rum instead of water but I guess in our family that was not acceptable.

Place in an air-tight container and refrigerate for at least overnight or longer.

My aunt uses a meat grinder to finely mince the fruit and seasonings together. She also uses a bread machine to mix the dough. I found that my food processor does the work much easier.

Next to make the dough: Clean and dry the food processor. Pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Add the cold butter and pulse a few more times again.

Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and milk. Process until the dough just starts to combine (like pie dough). Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until it comes together completely and looks smooth.

Divide the dough into four equal pieces and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

The dough and the fig filling can be refrigerated for long periods of time. Days and days, which makes this Cucidati recipe a little easier on the baker. It can be time-consuming so break it up over a period of days.

When you are ready to bake the cookies form the fig filling into ropes about the size of your little finger. To make it easier form all the filling and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Using only one dough round at a time (leave the remaining dough refrigerated) on a well-floured work surface, knead the dough a few times until it becomes smooth, roll the dough out fairly thin, about 1/8 inch thick. This dough rises some and you want to taste that amazing filling, not just cookie.

Trim the rough edges from the dough, place a rope on the dough edge.

Lift the outer edge and start rolling it over the filling.

Roll it completely over and trim it off, as shown above. Place the seam side down.

Slice each strip on the diagonal into about 1-inch pieces and place them on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until the tops a light golden and bottoms are browned. Watch them closely, all ovens are different. You may need to rotate the baking sheets for even browning.

Allow them to cool on the pan for about 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

These are not your average store-bought fig newtons. They are perfectly spicy, aromatic, moist little morsels of pure heavenly flavor. The longer these cookies sit the better they taste!!!

Traditionally these cookies are iced and topped with colored sprinkles. We have never used sprinkles but we have used icing in the past. Over the years it was decided the icing wasn’t necessary, so we typically don’t do it anymore.

Check out our popular Italian Butterball Cookie recipe.

Italian (Sicilian) Fig Cookie Recipe

Italian Fig Cookies (Cucidati)

Flavorful, moist, tender cookie filled with dried fruit and hints of citrus. A Christmas cookie must every year!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Cookie, Dessert
Cuisine: Italian, Sicilian
Keyword: cookies, cucidati, Fig, italian
Servings: 80 appx
Calories: 79kcal
Author: DSTR

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter cold and cut into small pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk

Fig Filling

  • 1 cup pecans rough chopped
  • 8 oz dried figs stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 5 oz dates pitted and roughly chopped
  • 4 oz dark raisins
  • 1 small orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water Up to 1/3 cup

Instructions

Dough

  • Pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Add the cold butter pieces and pulse again.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and milk. Process until the dough just starts to combine (like pie dough). Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until it comes together completely and looks smooth.
  • Divide the dough into four equal pieces and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

Filling

  • Place the dried figs, dates, pecans, raisins, and orange zest in the food processor. Give it a couple of pulses to start grinding the fruit.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
  • Add the water and sugar mixture to the food processor and pulse until it grinds everything and comes together.
  • Place in an air-tight container and refrigerate for at least overnight or longer.

Forming and Baking

  • Form the fig filling into ropes about the size of your little finger. To make it easier form all the filling and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Using only one dough round at a time (leave the remaining dough refrigerated) on a well-floured surface, knead the dough a few times until it becomes smooth, roll the dough out fairly thin, about 1/8 inch thick.
  • Trim the rough edges from the dough, place a rope on the dough edge. Lift the outer edge and start rolling it over the filling. Roll it completely over and trim it off. Place the seam side down.
  • Slice each strip on the diagonal into about 1-inch pieces and place them on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
  • Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until the tops a light golden and bottoms are browned. Watch them closely, all ovens are different. You may need to rotate the baking sheets for even browning.
  • Allow them to cool on the pan for about 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutrition

Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 46IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

Tools Used

Don’t Sweat The Recipe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Cuisinart Food Processor 14 cuphttps://amzn.to/2Db6Cpj

More Delicious Recipes

Share With Your Friends And Family!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *