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cuccidati (italian fig cookies)
Cuccidati (Italian fig cookies)
December, 2011, Page 84
My sister Olivia perfected these traditional Italian cookies based on both of my grandmothers’ recipes. The convenience of a food processor cuts the prep time from hours to minutes.
Art Director Leonard Loria
2 cups dried figs, hard tips discarded
1½ cups dried dates, pitted
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup whole walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup brandy or water
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon water
1 egg white
Combine figs, dates and raisins in a food processor bowl fitted with a steel blade and process to finely chop. Place mixture in a medium bowl and add remaining filling ingredients; stir to combine.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl to combine.
Add butter and blend with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.
Beat egg, milk and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Add to dry mixture and stir to make a rough dough.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets.
Combine water and egg white in a small bowl and beat slightly to make an egg wash.
Roll one piece of dough at a time into a 12" square on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into 4" x 3" rectangles. Spoon 2 tablespoons of filling lengthwise down the center of each rectangle. Fold the long sides of each rectangle inward to the center to enclose the filling; pinch edges to seal. Turn rectangle log seam-side down and press gently to flatten seam.
Brush egg wash on log and sprinkle with nonpareils. With a floured knife, cut log crosswise into 1½"-wide slices and arrange ½" apart on prepared baking sheets.
Bake 15 minutes. (The cookies will not brown.) Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.
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