Cucidati! (Italian Fig Cookies)

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Whether you call them Cucidati, Sicilian X Cookies, or just plain Italian Fig Cookies, the end result is the same. Tender sweet dough, that’s wrapped around a very flavorful spiced fig filling.

This is a favorite in many Italian households, and hands down this is my hubby and his brothers


favorite cookie! I think it’s mostly nostalgic, because it reminds them so much of their mom, in fact they call them “Moms cookies”. Weeks before, my BIL will call me and plead ” Are you gonna make mom’s cookies this year? Let’s make mom’s cookies! What do you need? What should I buy? We’ll help you! Normally their idea of helping is spending 5 minutes in the kitchen then popping a DVD in, and every so often I would hear one of them say, “How’s it going up there? “Got any done yet?” Well this year I decided to call their bluff and said I would make them if they help. I think they now have total appreciation for all the work that goes into it!


To make these, you need to set aside the whole day, it’s very time consuming especially if you triple the recipe, which we did. You can however, make the dough and the filling a day ahead of time which I will do next year.



I decided to use Nick Malgieri’s recipe for the dough using butter instead of shortening as my MIL use to do. As far as the filling goes there are a ton of different versions and the way families make them, some even add chocolate but my MIL never did so I make them without.
You can’t go wrong with all or any of the ingredients incorporated with the figs, I’ve had many friends versions I tasted, all slightly different but still taste amazing.
I always taste to see if I want more or less of anything in the process and you should to.
The dough is tender, and easy to work with, and a breeze to make in the food processor!

For the filling, some of the ingredient’s are, golden raisin’s, candied orange peel, toasted and chopped almonds.

Apricot preserves, dark rum or brandy, instant espresso, cinnamon and cloves.

I made my BIL chop up the figs. Nice job UJ!

All the ingredients get whirled together in the food processor and the end result is a thick and flavorful fig paste!

The dough and fig paste gets divided up equally.

One at a time on a floured surface, you flatten each piece of dough and roll it out into a rectangle. Next, roll your fig paste into a log, lay the log on top of the dough, seal the edges and roll it out into a cylinder. Cut them as big as you want.

Here’s our finished project. just waiting for the frosting to dry. You don’t have to frost them, but we like them that way. Needless to say, the 2 brothers were very happy!!




Happy Baking!




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  1. These look delicious!! I linked to the recipe in my upcoming blog post on Christmas in Italy! Thanks for sharing your labor of love. 🙂

  2. Oh man! I was scanning Pinterest for cookie recipes and I came across a bunch of these awesome fig cookie recipes. I was trying to describe them to my husband the other day. They were always around for special occasions in our Italian family during my younger days in New Orleans. I love your pictures and your recipe looks like one I will try. Thank you for the amazing post and pictures.

  3. Merry Christmas, Marie! How much instant espresso and clove do you use? It’s not in Nick’s recipe but you mentioned you put in yours. Also, any other ingredients you put in yours that is not listed in ingredient list? Thank you so much! I love your blog and your wonderful recipes and photos! God Bless!

  4. Thank you so much for posting this! Once my nonna passed away, all of our Sicilian recipes had been lost! I attempted these cookies using other recipes I found online and they were all terrible. I decided to give it a final go the morning of my big family dinner using your recipe and they came our delicious! <3 Everyone loved the cookies

    • Oh how wonderful Brianna, I’m so glad you and your family liked them, they are a labor of love, that’s for sure!

  5. Sicilian Married to a Cuban says

    Thank you Thank you so much. I’ve missed these cookies since my mother became ill and passed away 3 years ago. She’d be proud that I’m going to try and tackle them this Christmas.

  6. I forgot the cinnamon!! But no worries, I simply rubbed a light fingertip full of it on the bottom (of each) of the finished cookies! You can’t tell and NOW they taste perfect!! Lol
    These are the lightest, most flaky & tender cucidati ever.

  7. When looking for an Italian recipe that will be exactly like my grandmother’s, you are the only one I trust! My grandmother wasn’t good at writing her recipes down so every year I try to recreate the things that she cooked and baked when we were little. Thanks to you, I’m able to do that!

    Happy Holidays!

  8. I have been making the fig cookies for about 30 years. I have only one son who is interested in making them. Every one else just wants to eat them. I usually make about 200.

  9. Anonymous, go ahead and use the preserves, they will not be runny at all.

  10. These look so good, can’t wait to try this, in fact I’m getting all the ingredients to try it this weekend ! I have a question about the apricot preserves, wouldn’t these be too runny or can I just use dried apricots?

  11. wow you have so yummy food in your blog.

  12. Grazie Mille!!
    These look exactly like my grandmother’s, and helped me to remember how we made them!

  13. To anonymous Elaine in Mass.
    The fried ricotta filled pastry is called Casadeddi. (also used in chicken soup). However, we did not put honey on them. We used a mixture of sugar & cinnamon. There was another fried pastry called Pinulata… little dough logs stacked in a pile shaped like a cone & doused with honey & sprinkles or maraschino cherries

  14. My grandmother made these at Christmas also – it wasn’t Christmas without them. She did a few things differently though – as I remember anyway – she begin to make the filling soon after Thanksgiving – I guess so that the flavors had time to blend? Also, as I remember, she would cut the logs AFTER baking them. Every time I make them, they come out good, but not the same as Grandma’s. I will try your recipe next – wouldn’t it be wonderful if it could compare to my Grandmother’s. There was also another fried pastry that was always made at Christmas – it was about 3 inches square, filled with ricotta, fried, and then drizzled with honey and colored sprinkles. No one seems to know what I am talking about – this was about 50 years ago, so I could very well be remembering it wrong :>) Elaine in Mass

  15. Just had to tell you –You were part of our Christmas Cucidate cookie recipe collection this past Christmas! So much fun! Emailing all the cousins to compare our recipes – all from one source (Grandmother) and all different! We made all versions and couldn’t have had a happier Holiday! Hope yours was too. Tracey in CT



    We made these too! They were my Grandfather’s favorites and so we make them every year as homage – plus they are my favorite’s too! 🙂

  18. You are so right about these being “Mom’s Cookies”. Since my 90 year old mother is no longer baking them and sending them to me, I had to do it myself for the first time this year. I’m so glad to have her recipe. Yours look fantastic!


  19. While I’m Napolitan and Calabrese, I adore these Sicilian cookies. I’ve copied the recipe for next year. I haven’t made them in a while and yours sound better than the last recipe I used.

  20. This is my favorite cookie around the holidays…sadly I didn’t get any this year, my grandparents usually make them and they were both sick and not baking this year. : (

    Looks delicious!!

  21. I really like the sound of using nuts and dried fruits in holiday treats!

  22. Wow…just taking some time catching up with your blog and all your wonderful Christmas cookies…my sister was right…(In a garden)our mother made those all the time, I miss them so much, I’m really not the baker gal (I’d rather cook), but my sister sure can bake up a storm…

    Hope your having a wonderful Christmas and New Year Marie…

  23. I just discovered your blog and love it. The food looks scrumptious – I can’t wait to try these cookies – and your photos are beautiful. I look forward to following your future recipes.

  24. These fig cookies sound like a real treat :). Hope you had a cozy and memorable Christmas!

  25. I loved my nonna’s fig cookies when I was a little girl. She died when I was 5 and can’t remember the last time I had them. I decided to make them this year, and tried my best to remember what hers looked like. I found a recipe that I used, but now that I see your post I think yours is more similar to what I recall. You can see mine on my blog I think next time I’ll try your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  26. I thought of you when I watched the two fig cookie videos:


  27. buon natale Marie, have a fabulous Christmas with your lovely family. Ciao Lxxx

  28. Oh, yumm! Your creations are truly amazing.

    Here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas & a New Year full of continued love & laughter.

    With love,

  29. Oh my! Look at all those cookies! Fabulous!!!

    Isn’t fun to have help in the kitchen Marie, especially if it is not the usual suspects. We cooked in a friend’s kitchen this past weekend and had a blast. My little brother impressed us with his dessert, and my SIL made a fabulous tartiflette. First time for both. Neat!

  30. Marie, these look so good. I don’t thing I ever had one of these before. My mother never made these.

  31. I make mine a bit different, but it just isn’t Christmas in our house without these cookies. My son and husband eat them faster than the frosting can dry!
    Thank you for sharing the recipe. I’d love to try these as well.

  32. These look so good Marie, I have trouble finding figs here. I hope you and your family have a truly wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year, big hugs, Kathy.

  33. Really – everything you make is amazing.

  34. I came across your blog looking for a timpano recipe. But I was thrilled to see the Cucidati, as I am about to make mine, using the same recipe as Nick Malgieri. I also leave out the chocolate as I don’t think it has any business being in there. I do frost ours but my Sicilian father insists we leave off the sprinkles.

  35. WOW, send a bunch over this way:)

  36. I love the name of these beautiful cookies Marie…Cucidati…wonderful ring to it! Great filling too…but would UJ mind coming across and lending a helping hand here too? Pretty please…

  37. I am drooling on my keyboard, these look sooooooo good! Puts a fig newton to shame doesn’t it 🙂

  38. That’s a lot of cookies! I would eat so many of these since they are bite sized!
    You were lucky to have some helping hands.
    I need to try these filled cookies, normally I just make them plain no filling, but the filling certainly adds that extra something special.

  39. My grandmother used to make fig-filled Swedish cookies when I was little and I pretty much hated them. Something tells me that I would absolutely adore yours though! It better be good after spending an entire day on them, right? Happy Holidays!

  40. Making these cookies will always remind me of good times with my mom and my family. Proud Italian Cook, you remain the best. And to my wife, who is a Proud German Cook, I am a lucky Italian and I get the best of both worlds of cooking.
    Merry Christmas to all.

  41. Wow, you have so many delicious looking cookies!

  42. I think every Italian loves these fig cookies Marie! They are my husband’s favorite! He is from Calabria and his Mom’s recipe is slightly different from yours and they don’t even call them cucidati but “pita” in his dialect. The recipe that I have on my blog uses walnuts, dates and orange marmalde — no chocolate either. Emeril Lagasse’s recipe is very similar.
    I love your cookie shapes and the icing — looks like you have a nice supply for the holidays!
    Merry Christmas! Hugs, Pat

  43. Ooooh, I LOVE “mom’s” cookies! These look just terrific. We ate fig filled cookies during the holidays as well as those poppyseed filled ones. Alas, I fear those recipes may be long lost. Oh wait, I just remembered a notebook of recipes that I inherited … I’m off to go thumb through it! Yum!

  44. Oh wow, another winner from you for sure!

  45. What a production Christmas cookies are, especially tripled recipes! I think you now have a new holiday tradition with the brothers, they wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun now would they! Good job!

  46. These look amazing! And good for you for putting the men to work, now they’ll have a new appreciation for the labor of love that goes into these. These are going on my “must make” list (although I might start slowly with just a single recipe!!)

  47. I have to laugh when the guys say they will help, more like they will boss us around. But the aggravation was worth it, these are very good cookies. UJ has really been trying not to eat them all in one day. I think we have a few left!

  48. OMG — I am definitely going to use your recipe and make these next year, Marie. They truly look divine!
    A beautiful tradition, for sure, and you’re so generous.

    Are there any left today?

    Buon Natale!

  49. I love these cookies they remind me so much of when I was growing up.

  50. Oh, how I love these kind of filled cookies, Marie. As you know, I grew up with them. These are so pretty they really belong showcased in an Italian bakery. Thanks for sending them my way.

  51. These look incredible. I am a HUGE fig fan, and the other ingredients sound just up my alley.

    I will definitely have to try making these next year – this year, I have a huge docket of recipes that I’m plowing through and I think I’ll cry if I add any more.

  52. Hey u bet …we all need to eat healthy in these indulgent

  53. Marie you are my hero! Congratulations.. these are gorgeous and sooo many!! Can I send you my address so you can send me at least one? 🙂
    Like Maryann, we do chocolate! Your DH and BIL are troopers, cutting up the figs takes a long time! I hate cutting around those stems! 🙁
    I love your photo’s and the icing is a must! They look so pretty!
    Have a Happy Day!!
    Ciao and hugs!

  54. These cookies sound so incredible. I think all recipes that have a history behind them appeal to me at this time of the year.

  55. Yummo. We live in TX and I order these yearly from Maria’s pastry shop in MA. She makes wonderful things but the weight of Italian cookies and Marzipan is high so the shipping cost is high too. MAYBE, again MAYBE, I’ll give these a try next year instead of buying them.

  56. I can tell you first hand that these came out delicious!!!

    My favorite of all Christmas cookies.

  57. I am glad you made such a lot….I do not think they will last long! Interesting filling to these delicious-looking cookies!!

  58. One of the recipes that takes me back to grandmas kitchen! She did use chocolate. Yours are heaven and I like that you got those men in there to help you! Icing them gives a nice festive touch 🙂
    Did they eat them all?

  59. I would have left the chocolate out too! I adore these and love having them for brekkie with some cappuccino. Yum

  60. WOW…so many and so yummy!
    Can i have some…??? 😀

    esp. since I am the first one to

  61. Those are my favorite too. I have my mom’s recipe, but have never tackled it. I am tempted looking at your wonderful photos.

    • My mother. and Aunt Rachael made these every Christmas. Mom put chocolate in the fig mix. These are my husband’s favorite cookie!


  1. […] My mom’s side of the family is from Sicily and this fig cookie originates there: Cucidati.  They can be labor intensive but a real treat.It helps to make the dough ahead of time.  Your family will beg for them every year! Try this cucidati recipe from Proud Italian Cook. […]

  2. […] with several others. I came up with this recipe by combining the best of two recipes from the Proud Italian Cook blog and one of my cookbooks by Nick Malgieri — the master Italian pastry cook and baker, in […]

  3. […] baked (literally) hundreds of her famous fig-filled, spicy, orange-kissed Cucidati. My Three-Nut Fingers made their way from California to Illinois, New Jersey, and Virginia and into […]

  4. […] From Marie, cucidati, a traditional Sicilian cookie with fig filling (bottom […]

  5. […] also found an authentic Italian fig cookie recipe through the Proud Italian Cook blog (recipe for X-Cookies by Nick Malgieri) that is delicious as well as exotic. The filling is […]

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