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Cuccidati (Italian Fig Christmas Cookies)

3 Cuccidati Cookies on a wood board

These homemade Cuccidati cookies are made with buttery shortbread dough wrapped around a delightful fig filling. Top them with a simple lemon glaze and colorful sprinkles for perfect Italian Christmas cookies!

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons milk

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup dried figs
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dates
  • 2 tablespoons candied orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons candied lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons chopped almonds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the glaze:

  • 1 egg white
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Colored sprinkles

Instructions

Make the Dough:

  1. In a food processor add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter. Process until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and pulse for a few times until the dough starts to come together.
  3. Gradually add 1-2 tbsp milk, until your dough comes together and forms a smooth ball.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough gently and pat it out to a disc.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for about 1 hour.

Make the Filling:

  1. Remove stem from figs and let them soak in hot water for about 30 minutes. Take them out on a paper towel and pat dry to remove excess liquid.
  2. In a food processor add figs, raisins, dates, and candied citrus peel and process until you get a paste. Add chocolate chips, chopped almonds, and cinnamon and process until incorporated.

Assemble and Bake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Remove dough from the fridge and roll it out in rectangular shape on a lightly floured surface to approx. 1/8 inch thick.
  3. Place fig filling lengthwise closer to one edge of the rectangle and fold the dough over to the other side.
  4. Place formed log seam side down and cut into 1-inch cookies.
  5. Arrange the cookies on prepared baking sheets about 1/2 inch apart from each other.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown around the edges.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool.

Glaze and Decorate:

  1. Beat egg white until foamy, then add the lemon juice. Slowly, add powdered sugar and beat for another few minutes until soft peaks form.
  2. Once cookies are cooled, dip them in the glaze and top with colored sprinkles.
  3. Let dry for a few hours before storing.

Notes

  • Making ahead: You can make the dough the day before and leave it in the fridge overnight. The next day, take the dough out about 20 minutes before rolling, otherwise, it will be too hard to roll. The filling can be prepped up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge.
  • Storing: Cuccidati cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the fridge for up to 10 days. If you want to freeze them, it’s better to do it without the glaze. When ready to eat, simply take out of the freezer, thaw, and dip in the glaze.

Keywords: italian cookies, christmas cookies, fig cookies