This is a traditional Italian stuffed fig cookie.
Cucidati (Italian fig cookies)
Although not very hard to do, this recipe is very time consuming. It normally is made as a family project, as it makes enough to share amongst the different family members. It would be best to prepare the filling in a separate session a day ahead and chill the filling. Please notice that the amount of filling is enough for 3 batches of dough, and you can freeze the filling in a sealed container for your next round of Cucidati.
This is a family recipe. And as it goes for those, there are many different versions. This is ours, tweaked throughout the years.
Roast at 350ºF for approximately 9 minutes.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
Run all ingredients through a grinder twice. If the mix is too stiff to get through the grinder, add triple sec liquor which has an orange flavor.Please note that this makes enough filling for 3 batches of dough. The filling can be refrigerated or frozen for storage.
Cream the butter and add 1 cup of sugar at a time. Then add 2 eggs at a time while mixer is running. Then add the vanilla.Tip: When adding the eggs, scrape the sides of the mixing bowl to make sure everything is well combined. It may appear to separate, which is fine. When scraping the bottom of the bowl, it should be obvious that the mixture is combined.
Blend flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.
If your wet mix bowl is not very large, transfer to a large bowl and add the dry mix a cup at a time using a spatula to incorporate. Do not overwork the mix, only until combined. For the last couple cups of the dry mix, use your hands to incorporate.After combining the two mixes, it may be necessary to add more flour to achieve the right consistency. This may be due to the humidity. On the other hand, if the dough is too stiff, then you can add milk a TBL at a time. The dough will still be slightly sticky, but thick. Watch the video to see the right consistency.
Spread the dough in the bowl and place the dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes. For the rest of the process, the dough should be as cold as possible to be able to work with it.
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Bring filling to room temperature.
If you have made the filling the day before (or if it is frozen), let the filling come to room temperature. Otherwise chilled filling is very stiff.
Roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness with a floured rolling pin. Aim for sheets 8 x 12 inches, or up to 16 inches. This will make 2 rolls. Cut each roll in half to have 4 inch rolls.Tip: At this point, the dough will be fragile. If the dough is chilled, it will be forgiving and easy to roll out. Only take a small portion of dough out of the fridge to work, leaving the rest in the fridge.
Add a "rope" of filling about 1/2-3/4 inch thick down the width of the dough. The more filling the better the cookie.If the dough begins to get soft, stop working it and chill it again.
Fold over the dough, and cut your cookies on the bias. Size is a matter of personal preference, but we prefer 3/4 to 1 inch wide. Place on a baking sheet.If you have dough scraps, you must return to the fridge to chill.
Bake at 375ºF for 12 to 14 minutes. The edges should be lightly brown.
Mix the powdered sugar, vanilla and water to create the slurry for glazing, and adjust the amount of water as needed. If the slurry becomes too stiff, heat in the microwave for 15 seconds to reliquify.
After the cookies have cooled, coat the top of each cookie with glaze using a pastry brush. Immediately sprinkle the nonpareils on the wet glaze. The glaze will dry quickly and should be white when dry. Make additional batches of glaze as necessary.After glazing the cookies, they can be stored as needed. They can be frozen for later use.