Cuccidati, also known as buccellati, is a traditional Sicilian fig cookie usually served at Christmas time.
CUCCIDATI (Italian Fig Cookies)
Servings: 64 cuccidati cookies
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter cut into 1/2-inch cubes, 2 sticks
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1 cup dried figs
- 1/2 cup dried dates pitted
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 3/4 cup whole almonds toasted and coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup walnuts toasted and coarsely chopped
- 2/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup orange marmalade
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1 1/2 tsp orange zest
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbs cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons orange juice
Dough: Cream butter. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla; beat until creamy. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the creamed mixture and knead will; slowly add milk during the kneading process.
Filling: Grind figs, dates and raisins. Add spices and nuts to the ground fig mixture. (Or you can mix everything in the food processor until coarsely chopped.) Mix the honey and brandy to the ground mixture until the mixture is thoroughly wet.
Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll out each piece of dough. Cut the dough into 4 by 3-inch rectangles. Spoon 2 tablespoons of filling down the center of each rectangle. Fold the long sides of each rectangle inward to the center to enclose the filling; pinch the edges to seal. Turn rolls seam-sides down and press gently to flatten seams. Cut logs crosswise with a floured knife into 1 1/2-inch-wide slices and arrange 1/2 inch apart on buttered large baking sheets.
Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes in a 190 C (375 F) oven.
Frost with icing: mix powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough orange juice (about 1 1/2 Tablespoons) to make of spreading consistency. Sprinkle with small multicolored decorative candies.
I remember these at Christmases as I was young – only difference was that the cookies were made much larger, not as rolled cookies, but as a filled small fold-over turnover about the size of a slice of a large orange. All else was the same. Don’t overdo the alcohol because it will easily overpower the taste of the filling.
Oh my Aunt used to make these every Christmas! My Nana also made Crostoli. I am 66. I want to make them.