Italian Fig Cookies (Cucidati)

Italian Fig Cookies, Cucidati, Sicilian Fig Cookies, or Christmas Fig Cookies square measure some of the names you would possibly realize for this deliciously wet, tender and sweet, fruit stuffed cookie.

With notes of citrus from recent fruit juice and lemon peel, the distinctive and richly spiced filling is wrapped within a buttery cookie dough that’s a dream to figure with.  Baked in strips then sliced into individual cookies once heat from the kitchen appliance, this technique couldn’t be easier.  Once cooled the cookies square measure drizzled with a lemon glaze and ancient vacation nonpareils (sprinkles.)

Italian Fig Cookies (Cucidati)
Italian Fig Cookies (Cucidati)

What square measure figs anyway?
We all usually assume figs square measure a fruit as a result of they grow on a tree. however fascinating enough, figs are literally AN inverted flower! The flowers bloom within the pod – isn’t that cool! Figs even have lots of health edges, and each dry and recent figs square measure smart for you. Figs square measure one in every of my favorite treats. Their natural sweet flavor satisfies even the largest yearning for course.  The wet and gently sweet filling in these Italian Fig Cookies is formed by gently preparation the figs with cut dates, or raisins, slightly of rum, fruit juice, cinnamon and lemon peel. cut almonds square measure other at the top, then the thick mixture is cooled before spreading on strips of tender vanilla cookie dough.

Can you freeze Italian Fig Cookies?
In addition to having a beautiful flavor, these cookies freeze well and travel splendidly once properly packed.  The distinctive flavor is like no alternative with the spicy, aromatic, fruity filling and easy cookie dough. a requirement go for your vacation table!

Italian Fig Cookies (Cucidati)

INGREDIENTS:
For the dough:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

For the fig filling:

  • 1 cup dried diced Calimyrna or Mission figs stems removed (6 or 7 ounce package)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates finely chopped (or substitute raisins if preferred)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice fresh squeezed (about 1 orange)
  • 1/3 cup diced candied orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup blanched almonds chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons dark spiced rum or Grand Marnier orange liqueur

For the lemon glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons lemon juice, just enough to make a glaze you can slowly drizzle
  • Sprinkles for decoration if desired

INSTRUCTIONS:
To prepare the dough:

  1. Place the butter to a mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar and baking soda. Beat until combined. Add the egg, vanilla and salt and mix until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat again for a few seconds. Add the flour in three additions, mixing on low to incorporate.
  2. 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 overnight.

To prepare the filling:

  1. 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.
  2. To assemble and bake the cookies, preheat oven to 375 degrees. 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.
  3. Place a piece of wax or parchment paper (at least 14x10 inches) on a clean work surface. Lightly dust 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). Use the parchment paper as a guide and 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.
  4. Carefully transfer the filled strips to the prepared baking sheet placing them seem side down on the pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  5. 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:

  1. 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.

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