Italian Sesame Seed Cookies
Struffoli-Honey Dough Balls
Italian Fig Cookies I
Tomato Zucchini Stew
Italian Fig Cookies 2
Hamlins White Sauce
Fancy Cannoli Cake
Stir-fried Napa Cabbage
Red Wine Syrup
Italian Fig Cookies No.1
Cuccidati, Cucidati, Cuddureddi, Buccellati:
All of these and more are the names given to this wonderful sweet, the
origin of which is in Sicily. They are often eaten as Christmas or
wedding sweets. In Sicily, before Christmas, the butcher did every-one
a favor. After they bought his meat, he would clean his grinding machine,
and then anyone from the town who wanted to make cuccidati would bring
sacks of figs and raisins to the shop and wait in line for them to be ground.
Today, the figs and raisins can be ground in a food processor.
· 2 cups dried figs, hard tips discarded
· 1 1/2 cups dried dates, pitted
· 1 cup raisins
· 3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted and
· 3/4 cup whole walnuts, toasted and
· 1/2 cup orange marmalade
· 1/2 cup honey
· 1/4 cup brandy
· 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
· 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh 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
· 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
· 1 large egg
· 1/2 cup milk
· 1 tablespoon vanilla
· 1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water for
· Colored sprinkles, for decorating.
To make the filling, in a food processor, combine
the figs, dates and raisins and process to finely chop. Place the mixture
in a medium bowl, add remaining filling ingredients and stir to combine.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
To make the dough, in a large bowl combine the flour,
sugar, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine. Add the butter and
blend with your fingertips until most of mixture resembles coarse meal.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg, milk and vanilla together.
Add to the dry mixture and stir to make a rough dough. Turn the dough out
onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.
Cut the dough into 4 pieces, cover, and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 large
On a lightly floured surface, one at a time, roll out
each piece of dough into a 12-inch square. 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 the cookies seam-sides down and
press gently to flatten the seams. With a floured knife, cut the logs crosswise
into 1 1/2-inch-wide slices and arrange 1/2-inch apart on the prepared
baking sheets. Brush with egg wash and decorate with colored sprinkles.
Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool on wire racks.