Italian Fig Cookies (Cucidati)
7 to 8 dozen
Stuffed with a paste of figs, dates and nuts flavored with a hint of bourbon, these pretty Italian cookies are fun and easy to make. Roll the dough out into long strips, add the filling and cut into delicious bite-size pieces the kids will love to decorate.
- 4 ounces bourbon
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 cups dried figs, chopped, stems removed
- 1 cup pitted and chopped dates
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts or pecans)
- 4 1/2 cups Swans Down® Cake Flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Rainbow nonpareils (round sprinkles), for decorating
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice + extra as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Make Filling: Place bourbon, orange juice and honey in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add figs, dates and golden raisins and return to simmer. Remove from heat and let soak until cooled.
- Place soaked fruit and liquid in the bowl of a food processor, add orange zest, cinnamon and nuts and process until fully combined and a thick paste forms. Place filling in a piping bag and set aside.
- Make Dough: Place flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add butter and mix until dough resembles coarse sand. Add milk, eggs and vanilla and mix until combined and dough forms a ball. Remove dough from mixer, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
- Bake Cookies: Remove chilled dough from refrigerator and let rest for 20 minutes. Place a piece of wax or parchment paper (at least 14×10 inches) on a clean work surface. Lightly dust with flour. Cut dough into 4 sections. Roll each section of dough into a 10×8-inch rectangle. Cut each rectangle into 2 (10×4-inch) strips. Pipe filling in a “rope” down the center of each strip. Using the parchment paper to help when working with the dough, bring the 2 long sides of the dough up and over the rope of filling, forming a tube of dough with filling inside. Gently seal the seam (the dough should overlap slightly on top of the filling). With seam side down, cut the dough into 1-inch pieces and place on prepared sheet pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Decorate Cookies: Place confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a medium bowl and whisk until a smooth glaze is formed. Dip cooled cookies into glaze and sprinkle with nonpareils.