Cuccidati! The first time I tried an authentic Cuccidati was in a very small yet delicious Mediterranean Cafe nestled deep in New York City. The first bite I was taken!  For the last 1.5 years I have determined myself to make a batch. It just so happens that I had an extra pound of dried figs(dried figs are a staple in my house) so today was the day I decided to experiment!

The taste is very similar to a fig newton in my opinion. The fig filling is sweet and rich and the cookie shell buttery! After searching out a good recipe I ended up combining a few recipes to create the cookie. I decided to use 100% whole wheat for the dough and honey for the filling. Many recipes called for a variety of dried fruit & nuts but I decided to stick with just figs for a basic Sicilian fig cookie! Perhaps I will try a few different fruit combinations next time. (:

Yields: 2-3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

For filling

  • 1lb dried mission figs
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For pastry dough

  • 4 cups  flour (wheat or white)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest

Directions

Make filling:
Soak figs in orange juice, orange zest, honey, and vanilla. Allow to set covered for 4 hours. Once soaked, puree in food processor. Refrigerate for 3 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 coarse 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 6 hours.
Form cookies:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Roll out 1 rectangle of dough (keep remaining dough chilled) into a 15- by 14-inch rectangle on a well-floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Trim to a 13- by 10-inch rectangle (chill trimmings), then cut into 4 (10- by 3 1/4-inch) strips. Arrange 1/3 cup 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. Turn rolls seam-sides down and press gently to flatten seams. Cut logs crosswise with a floured knife into 1 1/2-inch-wide slices and arrange 1/2 inch apart on buttered large baking sheets. Make more cookies in same manner with remaining chilled dough, trimmings (reroll once), and filling.
Bake cookies in batches in middle of oven until golden around edges, 16 to 20 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool until warm, about 10 minutes.
Enjoy!