Italian Fig Christmas Cookies (Cuccidari)
Preheat the oven to 425
Christmas Cookie Dough:
((Or use your favorite sugar cookie dough recipe! The recipe below is also PERFECT for frosted cut out Christmas cookies))
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
6 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 lg eggs
½ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. Almond extract
3/4 tsp salt
1 pkg. (1/2 -1 lb.) dates (OR DATE SPREAD), chopped
1 box raisins (15 oz.)
1 lb. fresh figs from
½ lb. chopped walnuts
1 lb. jar orange marmalade or I used raspberry
¼ - ½ rum or whiskey or 2 tsp. rum extract (optional)
Cinnamon and sugar
To make the FILLING:
Chop the figs a little at a time in a food processor. They can be quite tough and could burn out your motor if you use dried instead of fresh figs
Add the figs and all the other ingredients for the filling in a saucepan for the stove.....
Heat it through on medium low till it is soft and pliable and melts together a little. Remove from heat.
To make the DOUGH:
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add a little at a time to butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and dough comes together. Chill 1 to 2 hours. Roll two desired thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes on 350 for Christmas cookies or for these Italian fig cookies 425. Leave cookies on baking sheet to cool for at least five minutes before moving them to decorate.
Flour your cutting board continuously throughout the whole rolling process. Roll a piece of dough approximately 10" long by 6" wide
and cut the edges and top and bottom straight.....
Put the filling down the middle of the dough from top to bottom. The tricky part of this section of making the cookies is to decide how much filling to use so that you don't run out before you get to the end of your dough or your dough doesn't run out before you get to the end of your filling! If you have leftover dough, you can roll it out, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on it, roll it and bake it......yum! With a butter knife form the dough on either side over the filling and seal the middle and ends. The dough is quite pliable and can be blended together to close the seam.... With a sharp knife cut the tube on the diagonal about every 3/4". Place the cookie seam down on the cookie sheet to bake. No need to grease the pan....there is plenty of shortening in there for that! Bake them at 425 degrees for about 13 minutes til golden brown.....this recipe makes about 7 dozen cookies. They freeze beautifully. I usually freeze them once they are cooled in either freezer bags or large pans with foil. When I need some to give as a gift or to serve to guests (or just eat, and sometimes that is right out of the freezer!), I defrost them and frost them and they are as fresh as the day I made them.....
(I opted to just sprinkle mine with cinnamon sugar- GREAT with coffee)
2 2/3 cups confectionary sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon flavoring (almond, lemon, anise), optional
Combine all ingredients except water. Slowly add a little hot water till frosting is smooth.