Cucciddati or Buccellati is a traditional Italian cookie, originating in Sicily, that is filled with a mixture of figs and other fruits, nuts, and seasonings.
These cookies are slightly time consuming but totally worth the effort.
The dough is wonderfully tender and more of a “short” dough, which makes it melt in your mouth.
The filling (perhaps not surprisingly) tastes quite similar to a Fig Newton cookie, but with a much deeper and complex flavor.
With the addition of dates, raisins, and walnuts to the figs, as well as the cinnamon, honey, and orange marmalade, these cookies pack a huge punch when it comes to flavor and texture.
If you have a food processor, definitely use it for processing both the walnuts as well as the figs/dates/raisins mixture.
If you don’t have one, just chop as finely as possible.
As far as shaping and filling the cookies, the instructions provided below will yield a short rectangle “pillow” shape, but I experimented with many sizes and shapes, and encourage you to do the same!
CUCCIDDATI FIG COOKIES RECIPE
Servings: 48 cookies (Varies based on size, I got about 4 dozen cookies out of this recipe)
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tablespoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup dried figs
- 1 cup dried dates (pitted)
- ¾ cup raisins
- ½ cup walnuts (chopped or ground in food processor)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup orange marmalade
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons milk (approximately)
- Colored sprinkles (optional)
- Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the sugar and combine well.
- Cut in the shortening with a fork or pastry blender and work the mixture until it looks like cornmeal.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, vanilla, and milk.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix with an electric mixer for a full 3 minutes. Dough will be soft.
- Remove the dough from the mixer and knead by hand for 5 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, wrap each with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
- To make the filling, grind figs, dates, and raisins in a food processor until coarse.
- Place fig, date, and raisin mixture in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Mixture will be thick. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375° and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Work with one piece of dough at a time, leaving the remaining pieces in the refrigerator until needed. On a floured surface roll the dough into a 12-inch square. Cut dough into 2×3-inch rectangles. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of filling into the middle of each rectangle. Carefully fold the short edges over to meet in the center and pinch to seal. Seal the sides as well.
- Place each cookie, seam-side down, on a baking sheet, leaving 1-2 inches between each cookie.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden in color.
- Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely before icing.
- For the icing, mix together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough milk to achieve the desired consistency.
- You’ll want the icing to be thick enough not to be runny, but still easily spreadable. Ice the tops of the cookies and decorate with sprinkles, if desired.
- Let the icing set completely before storing in an airtight container.