These fig cookies have different names: Cucidati, Sicilian fig pastry, Christmas fig pastry…. Whatever you want to call them, they’re delicious. The traditional recipe gives a butter and sugar cookie with a hint of orange and lemon. Originally the cookies came from Sicily, and today most families have their own recipe, passed down from generation to generation, each with its own touch. They often made it in large quantities, ready for Christmas dinner.

Due to various influences, Italian fig cookies are a melting pot of cultures, with figs from Greece and spices (like cinnamon) from the Arab world.

How to make fig cookies from scratch

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Cut the figs into small cubes.

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Put the fig pieces in a saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 cup water, 1 cup nuts and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

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In another bowl, mix 200 g butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons yogurt, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon cocoa powder, 10 g vanilla sugar, 10 g baking powder. Use a wooden spoon to mix well.

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Add the flour in small amounts, mixing well after each addition.

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Mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture is too thick, then use your hands to make sure the dough is smooth.

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Roll out the dough into a thick log.

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Divide the dough into small portions.

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Place a square of the foil on a clean work surface. Place a small portion of the dough on the foil and flatten it slightly. Place a teaspoon of the fig filling in the center.

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Use aluminum foil to cover the balloon dough.

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Form a face.

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Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 35 minutes at 180°C/350°F.

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Sprinkle with icing sugar.

Can you freeze fig cookies?

Baked fig cookies can be frozen. You can also freeze uncooked cookies. When you are ready to cook them, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and proceed with the recipe as usual.

Fig filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days (make sure it is covered). The dough should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and can be stored for up to 3 days. Store baked cookies at room temperature in an airtight container.

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Instructions

Cut the figs into small cubes.

Put the fig pieces in a saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 cup water, 1 cup nuts and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

In another bowl, mix 200 g butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons yogurt, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon cocoa powder, 10 g vanilla sugar, 10 g baking powder. Use a wooden spoon to mix well.

Add the flour in small amounts, mixing well after each addition.

Mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture is too thick, then use your hands to make sure the dough is smooth.

Roll out the dough into a thick log and divide it into small pieces.

Place a square of the foil on a clean work surface. Place a small portion of the dough on the foil and flatten it slightly. Place a teaspoon of the fig filling in the center.

Use aluminum foil to seal the balloon dough and form a fig shape.

Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 35 minutes at 180°C/350°F.

Sprinkle with icing sugar.

Notes

Fig cookies can be covered with orange icing. Simply whisk together 1 cup surface sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice and pour over cooled cookies. You can make them look like a traditional fig cookie with rainbow splinters on top. Cookies must be completely chilled before they can be frozen!

You can also use other dried fruits, such as dates or raisins. Feel free to add nuts for crunch.

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