Of all the special treats that Christmas time brings, my grandmothers fig cookie recipe is one that, no matter what, my home will never go without. A typical sicilian holiday tradition, these cookies are far from the usual festive, iced sugar cookie. Sicilian Fig Cookies, or Cucidati, somewhat resemble what most might think of as a fig newton… but like ten times better ;)
And like most everything I make, they are fairly easy and require simple ingredients. Dried dates, figs, raisins and pecans.
All ground up together into a sticky, but delicious mess. This processes is messy and can be a bit difficult. I enjoy using this old grinder because I know that’s how my grandmother used to do it. However most kitchen mixers have grinder attachments available, which would make for a much easier and probably less messy experience. It’s not the most appetizing looking mixture in the world, but its fragrantly yummy and it only gets better!
**Depending on the package of dried dates there might still be a pit in the middle of the fruit. Be sure to check and remove them if needed! if you miss one it will lock up your grinder!**
A little honey, orange zest, nutmeg and all spice into the mix and that’s the bulk of it. The dough is simple, however I feel like I’ve photographed a handful for dough’s recently, so I decided to skip it for this post.
The key with this dough is to roll it out super thin! So much that you can almost see the counter underneath it. I have yet to master the dough for these cookies and can never seem to get it quite thin enough, but I’m getting there. For years I watched my dad make nonna’s fig cookies and just in the past few years have I decided to take on the tradition myself and make my own batch :) practice makes perfect!
The dough gets rolled out into a long rectangle and folded over a roll of the fig/date mixture. The top layer of dough is sliced and cut into small bite size pieces and that’s that!
Without sounding too kookie… I like to think that every time I make these cookies grandma is there watching down on me working away in the kitchen :) I think she would be proud.