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5 from 3 votes

Italian Fig Cookies (Cucidati)

Italian Fig Cookies, Cucidati, Sicilian Fig Cookies, or Christmas Fig Cookies are a few of the names you might find for this deliciously moist, tender and sweet, fruit filled cookie.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Chilling3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 57 mins
Course: Cookie
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cookies, dessert, holiday
Servings: 36 cookies
Calories: 104kcal
Author: Tricia

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature (113g or 4oz)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (55g)
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar packed (56g)
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (226g)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the fig filling:

  • 1 cup dried Calimyrna or Mission figs stems removed and diced (6 or 7 ounce package)
  • ½ cup chopped pitted dates finely chopped (or substitute raisins if preferred)
  • ½ cup orange juice fresh squeezed (about 1 orange) (4oz)
  • cup diced candied orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • cup blanched almonds chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons dark spiced rum or Grand Marnier orange liqueur

For the lemon glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted (115g)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (add more if needed for desired consistency)
  • Sprinkles for decoration if desired

Instructions

To prepare the dough:

  • In a large mixing bowl beat the butter on medium-high speed using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix until combined. Add the egg and vanilla and blend just until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat again for a few seconds. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the dough in three additions, mixing on low to incorporate.
  • Divide the dough in half and form each into a small rectangle. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

To prepare the filling:

  • In a small saucepan, combine the figs, dates, orange juice, candied orange peel, sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until fruit is soft and the mixture is thick. Remove from the heat and add the chopped blanched almonds and 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, if using. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap once cooled until needed.
  • To assemble and bake the cookies, preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before rolling out.
  • Place a piece of wax or parchment paper (at least 14x10 inches) on a clean work surface. Generously dust the paper with flour. Roll one portion of the dough into a 10x8-inch rectangle. Cut each rectangle into two 10x4-inch strips. Portion 1/4 of the filling down the center of each strip (in a rounded mound). CHILL the dough and filling as is for 10-15 minutes before rolling into cylinders.
  • Using the parchment paper as a guide, bring one long side of the dough up and over the filling. Repeat with the opposite side forming a tube and enclosing the filling. The dough should overlap slightly on top of the filling. Gently seal the edges.
  • Carefully transfer the filled strips to the prepared baking sheet placing them seam side down on the pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately slice each strip (using a large thin knife) diagonally into 1-inch pieces. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

For the lemon glaze:

  • Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle on each cookie then top with colored sprinkles if desired.

Notes

  • Chopped candied orange peel can be found in the section of your grocery store with fruit cake ingredients.
  • We use Grand Marnier in this recipe.
 
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered as an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.
Adapted from a Better Homes and Gardens recipe published in Christmas Cookies, 2003

Nutrition

Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 45mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 96IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg