Cookies

Cucidati – Italian Fig Cookies

It’s Monday, mid-morning. And you know what?

I’m still smiling.

Positively exultant. Elated. Felicitous. I am, quite frankly, in such a positive state of mind I feel like I can conquer just about anything today.

Starting with a cookie 🙂

Here is another spectacular and outstanding family favorite for the holidays – because unlike some cookies that can be eaten at almost any time of year, these are extra special…….. and therefore only prepared during Christmas-time.

Now, you might think that’s because the allure of having them once a year retains their “specialness”….. but the reality is a bit more “personal”:

Eating too many of them ** no names mentioned ** causes…….well…….how shall I word it? Hmmmmmm – let’s just say it could theoretically cause gastrointestinal distress.

’nuff said.

Cucidati – adapted from Nick Malgieri’s Cookies Unlimited

Pasta Frolla

4 c. all purpose flour
2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
16 tbs cold butter, cut into 16 pieces
4 large eggs

To make the dough, in bowl of the food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Pulse two or three times to mix. Add the butter and pulse repeatedly until it is finely incorporated and the mixture is cool and powdery. Add the eggs, all at once, and continue to pulse until the dough forms a ball. Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, form into a disk, wrap it, and chill while you make the filling.

Fig Filling
12 oz. dried Calimyrna figs ( I get them from Trader Joe’s)
½ c. raisins
1 – 4 oz. container candied orange peel (or 1/3 cup orange marmalade)
1/3 c. whole almonds
1/3 c. apricot preserves
3 tbs. dark rum
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves

Egg wash:
1 large egg, well beaten

To make the filling, stem the figs and quarter them. Place them in the bowl of the food processor and add the raisins, orange peel, almonds and preserves. Pulse to finely grind the mixture. Add the rum, cinnamon and cloves and pulse again until the mixture is uniform and well blended. Transfer to a covered container and set aside until ready to bake.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment.

Cut the chilled dough into 12 equal pieces. One at a time, roll each piece into a rectangle 3” wide and 12” long. Brush the edges with the egg wash and evenly distribute 1/3 cup filling down its length. Bring the edges of dough up around the filling to enclose it, then press the edges of the dough together to firmly seal in the filling. Roll the dough back and forth several times to ensure that the filling is secure, then cut the dough into 3 inch lengths. Place the pieces onto the prepared pans, leaving about an inch between each cookie. After you have filled the pans, brush each piece with the egg wash, and bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, or until they are a light golden color. Slide the papers from the pans to wire racks to cool. Store the cooled cookies between sheets of parchment or wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight fitting cover.

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