Homemade Cucidati a Sicilian Fig Cookie Tradition

cucidati fig cookies When I think of holiday baking the first cookie that comes to my mind is cucidati, a Sicilian fig cookie filled with a mixture of nuts, dates, figs, raisins, spices and a few different flavorings and all that goodness is wrapped in a tender buttery dough that’s baked, frosted and sprinkled.

In my family this is a cookie that has memories attached to it, just the smells alone evoke fond thoughts of a mother long gone who lovingly made these for her family throughout their childhood for special occasions and holidays.

It’s about wanting to keep up that tradition and then handing it down to generation after generation.

cucidati Italian fig cookies So for that reason when I make them I go big and it’s a family affair. We start early in the morning and it becomes a whole day of baking. I think the most we made in a one day was 600.

Every one brings their own containers to take their cookies home, many will be gifted out to other family members and friends who look forward to our baking lollapalooza.

I like finding different tins to put them in and I always layer the cookies between wax paper.

fig paste

We have it down to a science now and everyone has their own jobs to do that they’re comfortable with, from making the filling, rolling the cookies, watching the oven, frosting them and adding the sprinkles. I always prep the dough the night before so that job is out of the way, I make at least ten batches.

cucidati Italian fig cookies I line my dining room table with sheets of wax paper and by the time we’re finished every inch gets covered and then some!

cucidati Italian fig cookies The one rule we have is that no one takes any home until the frosting has completely hardened, otherwise they’ll just get ruined when you’re packing them up.

cucidati Italian fig cookies

We even made some with white on white for a more classic look, wouldn’t these would look nice set out at an Italian wedding?

cucidati Italian fig cookiescucidati Italian fig cookies The smell of them baking lasted for days in my house!

cucidati Italian fig cookies

Because of the overwhelming requests for this recipe, I’ve posted it below along with all my tips.

Happy Baking! 

CUCIDATI

The Dough
TIP: (My handed down family recipe used Crisco because that was very common then, but today all I use is butter in the dough and we like it so much better!)
 4 cups all-purpose flour
 2/3 cup sugar
 1 teaspoon baking powder
 1 teaspoon salt
 8 ounces cold unsalted butter or 2 sticks, cut into pieces
 4 large eggs
Put flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal blade; pulse just to mix. Add the butter pieces and pulse. Add eggs and pulse until dough forms a ball on the blade. Remove from processor and knead briefly on a lightly floured work surface until smooth. Shape dough into a log shape and wrap in plastic and put into fridge overnight or use after it chills well.

TIP:(It’s great to work with when it’s chilled, if you leave it on the counter which I’ve done in the past the butter warms up and rolling it is a nightmare of stickiness, so take out one batch at a time. You might have to whack it with the rolling pin to break it down a bit but believe me it works and rolls much better. Making the dough ahead is especially good when making large amounts like I do, plus it will free up your food processor for the filling.
The Filling
 One 12-ounce package dried Calimyrna or Mission figs, snip off the hard end of stem
 ½ cup of dates, remove pits
 1/2 cup un-blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
 1/3 cup apricot preserves or orange marmalade
 ½ cup plump golden raisins
 1/4 cup candied orange peel, diced ( you can find this on line if you can’t find it in the baking isle, or just used grated orange peel and more marmalade, but I love this addition)
 1/3 cup of honey if you want it sweeter
 1/4 cup dark rum or whiskey
 1 teaspoon cinnamon
 TIP: ( My advice is to taste as you go along maybe adding more or less of the ingredients, my favorite is using whisky)
Instructions for filling
Remove stems from figs and cut the figs into medium-size dice. Put figs and remaining filling ingredients into the food processor and pulse with the metal blade until finely chopped; if you want to do this the day before go right ahead, it gives the flavors a chance to meld together.
To assemble the cookies
Cut your log of dough into 12 pieces and try to roll it out into a 3” by 12” rectangle. Then take the fig filling and scoop it out or make a fig log right down the middle onto the rectangle of the dough and roll it up placing it seam side down.
Cut cookies into 1 1/2 inch pieces, you can cut them into a square or on an angle, then place the cookies on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake at 350 for 15 minutes, till bottoms are nicely golden.
The Frosting
One whole bag of confectioners’ sugar mixed with milk to get the right consistency, sort of thick, not watery.
Non-perils for sprinkling

This recipe makes 4-5 dozen.
Make icing but don’t ice them until the cookies are completely cool from the oven,(important!) Spread a little icing onto each cookie, I like to use a pastry brush instead of dipping which gives me more control and it controls some of the sweetness because the filling is sweet also, then sprinkle the nonpareils on the top of the wet frosting but over a bowl otherwise you’ll see them all over your floor.

Pack them into tins only when frosting is completely hardened between wax paper layers, I repeat, let them dry completely!!

These can be made ahead of time to freeze but please do not frost then until you’re ready to serve. I don’t freeze mine I store then in the tins like I said between wax paper and keep the tins in a cool place, like my garage.
Happy Holiday Baking!

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Comments

  1. What a fun adventure! I can only imagine what a great day you have cooking with family. How I would love to be able to do that. Your cookies are beautiful…I do love the classic look of white on white, just perfect! I would love to bake these wonderful morsels even though I would be a “one man show”! I am interested in the recipe, Marie.

  2. Marie Scivetti says:

    I would love this recipe!! thanks so much! Love your site!

  3. These sound wonderful! When I went to print the actual recipe there wasn’t one attached. Can you please provide?

  4. Marie,
    My sister and I are going to try these next weekend and we would love your recipe..could you please send it?
    There are so many variations!
    Wish us luck!

  5. Rita Thomas says:

    I would love this recipe. These cookies look delicious and would be a great addition to my holiday baking! 😀
    Thank you!
    Rita

  6. Hi, yes! I would love to see your recipe and tips. My mom makes these every year but this year, now that she is 88 years old, I am going to help her with the baking. I am on my way out the door to go to her house and – amazing! – your cucidati post appeared on Facebook!

  7. Tina Carlozzi says:

    Please send the cuidati cookie recipe! Thanks

  8. I would love to have the recipe for Home Made Cucidati fig cookies

  9. I would love the recipe please!

  10. I would love your recipe! They look amazing!

  11. My great-grandmother would make these at the holidays. Her recipe has been lost throughout the years, so I would love a copy of yours.

    I enjoy following your Instagram!

    Thanks,
    Angela

  12. carmela pipitone says:

    please send fig cookie recipt

  13. jen francis says:

    I’m requesting that recipe – they look lovely!

  14. I would like a copy of this recipe, please. We’ve always wanted to make them!

  15. Tara Esposito says:

    Hi Marie,
    I love making all kinds of Christmas cookies and would love to try these this year.
    Thanks for sharing your recipe!
    Tara

  16. Gail Provenzano says:

    I would love the recipe!! Thanks much.

  17. Nancy Bono says:

    Recipe Please

  18. Cecilia Marie Young says:

    I would like it, too! Reminds me of my grandmother years and years ago!

  19. Linda Fiorenza Cotroneo says:

    Don’t know if my request for your recipe and tips got posted, so I’m trying again. Sorry if it’s a duplicate. Love everything you make!

  20. Maryann Lidestri says:

    I would love the recipe cucidadi

  21. Catherine says:

    I love baking traditions. The cucidati look beautiful. Could you please send me the recipe.
    Thank you

  22. Lisa Cook says:

    I think it would be great for a gathering at church after service. We have a bunch of ladies, and a few men, who like to bake and a big kitchen to create them in. I would love the recipe please. They look Awesome.

  23. Mary Lincoln says:

    Marie, I would really like to try these cookies. Can you send me the recipe please?

  24. Paula Silvio says:

    Your cucidati look beautiful. I would love the recipe, I made them with my sister and they don’t look that nice.
    I love all your recipes.
    Thanks!

  25. JoAnn DeNitto says:

    I’d love to have this recipe! Thanks!

  26. Can you send me the recipe, please.
    Thank you very much
    Maria

  27. Hi, I commented to you earlier and you provided a link, but I still can’t get the recipe. Can you please try and resend it?
    Thank you so much!

  28. Please send your recipe. Am intrigues with the bourbon in the background. My gramma always used brandy in her fruit filled cookies, though cucidati were not in her cookbook.

  29. April Bargar says:

    Love this! I would love this recipe so I can start my own tradition with my girls.

  30. Joanne DelMastro Chiulli says:

    Recipe please.

  31. Please send me the recipe. They look delicious. Thank you.

  32. I would love to have the recipe please.

  33. Barb Severino says:

    Yes please give me the recipe.

  34. I would love the fig cookies recipe. Thank you.

  35. Please send fig cookie recipe

  36. Roberta DeProspero-Johnston says:

    I would like the recipe. Thanks

  37. Anne M Hughes says:

    I would love to give this recipe a go! Please send it to me along with all the hints and tips to make them look as good as yours do. I KNOW they will taste amazing! Thanks!

  38. Christina Dey says:

    I would love to have this recipe, too! Thank you.

  39. Ellen Kanzer says:

    I would love to have your recipe. Can’t wait to try making them. Thank you.

  40. Paula Del Favero says:

    I, too, would love to have this recipe. Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  41. Marie….
    My husband’s family has made these cookies for-ever! Just made dozens for our son’s wedding last August.
    I would like to have your recipe to compare with ours. I wonder if the recipe may vary depending on from where the “baker” originated. My husband’s grandmother, Calogera Mannara Mendola, came from Mussemeli, Sicily.
    Thank you so very much!
    Ciao!
    Janice Molfese

  42. Marie, it would be so nice to have this family recipe! I am a cookie monster and our family and friends love figs and dates! A perfect combination. I really love your recipes and photos on Proud Italian Cook, you do an amazing job! Merry Christmas.

  43. I bake an Italian honey cookie from Calabria (not struffoli) where my grandparents are from & would love to have this recipe to include for my Christmas tradition. Thank you.

  44. Teresa DiBenedetto says:

    Hi,
    I would love to try your recipe.
    Thank you,
    Teresa

  45. I would please love to have this recipe.
    Thank you!

  46. Diane Ellenbrger says:

    The pictures are gorgeous!! The cookies look so festive and holiday….I’ve been looking for a good recipe for these cookies for years. My significant other is Italian and loves figs!! Please provide me with the recipe!!
    Thank you,

  47. Please send the recipe and any special helpful tips . These look spectacular!

  48. carol boucher says:

    I would love to have this recipe. They look delicious. Love reading your blog.

  49. Stella Nikoloudakis says:

    Hi Marie, I would love to have the recipe! Thank you.

  50. They look fabulous. I wish I was eating one right now. Please send recipe. Wishing you a wonderful holiday.

  51. I would love the recipe!!

  52. lisa patti says:

    Hello, I would greatly appreciate receiving a copy of your fig cookie recipe. It looks delicious. Thank you

  53. Krista Villa says:

    Hello, I would love to have this recipe, I’ve been looking for one like this, thank you in advance !!

  54. Hi, Marie. I would love this recipe. Thank you!

  55. I would also love to have this recipe. Figs are one of my favorites. Many thanks.

  56. I’d love to give this a try… Please send the recipe?! Much appreciated….

  57. I would love this recipe! Thank you!

  58. I’d love the recipe! My grandmother used to make them although I never knew the name. Thank you!

  59. Barbara Caruso says:

    These cucidati look perfect. Recipe and tips, please.

  60. Wow!! That is quite a production. I can just picture the assembly line. I’ve never had these cookies. Since we are from the Trieste area we had other Christmas treats. I’d love the recipe and I see you have LOTS of requests for them. I’ll make the recipe and tag you on Instagram. I really love baking cookies — I don’t do it as much as I used to. *sigh* Wish I could keep the kids little and had the grandkids closer. Have a wonderful Sunday!!

  61. I’d love to start this tradition. Please send me the recipe. Thanks!

  62. Karen LaFranca says:

    My ex-mother-in-law used to make these…they were wonderful! I never knew the name for them, and every fig cookie recipe I found was just not the one. So, p-l-e-a-s-e send me the recipe…thanks and Merry Christmas…love your recipes!

  63. Marie,
    Every year I receive your holiday post about these cookies and drool. I miss the pictures of the ladies in your family together making the cookies, which seems a very special time spent together. I have finished my Christmas shopping early this year and actually have time to spend in the kitchen, which is going to make my family very happy. I would love to have the recipe for your Cucidati cookies.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.
    JoAnne

  64. Filomena Howell says:

    I would love your recipe and hints for the cucidati.
    I also make these at Christmas, I would like your version.
    Thank you

  65. Mame Recckio says:

    Hello Maria, thank-you for offering to share your recipe. I would love for you to send me a copy…looking forward to making them.
    Thanks again, from a fello-Italian baker, Mame

  66. Would love the recipe!

  67. Paula Burgess says:

    These delicious cuciadatti were always spread out over crisp white sheets in my grandmother’s kitchen every year . That is when my grandfather wasn’t making cannoli for everyone! I have to add that I’ve never had a cannoli quite like his either ! No recpie for that unfortunately because it was always ” up here” as he said in broken English.
    Since I now have 2 wonderful fog trees that produced some fantastic fruit this year ? that I have puréed and frozen I would love to your recipe Thank you and Merry Christmas . .

    • Paula, please provide me with a another email address the one attached to this comment keeps bouncing back, please send me an email

  68. Katherine says:

    Growing up, one of my favorite things at Christmas was when the package of cucidati, that my Grandmother baked, arrived. I would love to have your recipe and give it a try. Thank you!

  69. Yes most definitely send me the recipe – Cucidati a Fig Cookie are one of my daughters favorites and since she is pregnant how can i refuse her this very special cookie. (there also my favorite YUM).
    thank you and a very Merry Christmas to all
    linda

  70. We’ve enjoyed so many delicious dishes from your kitchen and we’d love to have this recipe as well. Blessings on you!

  71. Marie, I’d LOVE the recipe! These look so good!

  72. Kathy Trouse says:

    I would love to have this recipe. i hope they are as good as my mom made them.

    Thanks

  73. Liliane Pucci says:

    Love these cookies! I would ❤️ to have a copy of your recipe along with your tips and tricks!!!

  74. Gloria Dellaria says:

    My husband’s family is Sicilian. I would love to have this recipe so I can make these for them for Christmas.

  75. Cinthia R S Todesco says:

    Sou do Brasil e recebo tudo seu pelo e-mail. Eu quero a receita. Agradeço muito o carinho. Obrigada Cinthia

  76. Marie, I would so love to make these for my fig-loving husband and friends. Every year I try a new cookie to add to our Holiday favorites, and these look and sound so delicious. Thank you for offering the recipe – please add me to those who would like you to send it out into the world.

  77. Would love to have the recipe. I remember these cookies from living near “The Hill” area in St. Louis but have not had them in years. Thanks.

  78. Please send me the recipe for the fig cookies. My mother used to make these every year for Christmas and ship them to me. I lost her recipe when she passed away.
    Thank you so much…love your recipes.
    Merry Christmas
    Gloria

  79. Oh my gosh, these are beautiful!

  80. Marie, even though I have a great recipe, I am an incurable recipe-aholic and would love to have yours as well–per favore e grazia! If you’re interested, here’s mine: http://www.fransfavs.com/2013/04/cucidati-sicilian-fig-cookies/

    • Fran I posted the recipe at the bottom of the post today, I had so many requests, I kept sending them out!Yours look beautiful!

  81. I love your annual tradition of gathering with family to make these delicious cookies. And I know how fantastic they are, having tried yours firsthand. I still haven’t made them yet though!

  82. Louisa G. Beck says:

    Please send me your cucidati recipe. I used to help my mother make these every Christmas and they were delicious. I haven’t tried it on my own yet. My mother used a grinder with a handle to turn, attached to our old formica kitchen table to grind the figs and filling. Now there is an easy way to make the filling with a food processor. She didn’t have a recipe written down but made it all from memory and we copied the ingredients and judged the amounts to make up a written recipe. Would love to have your recipe to compare. Thanks for your wonderful website. All your recipes are wonderful and delicious!

    Louisa

    • Louisa, I posted the whole recipe at the bottom of the post, it’s there on y blog right now.

  83. Thanks so much, Marie! Cucidati are the most delicious cookies ever and more than worth all the work! Love your website and recipes.
    Louisa

  84. Marie, thank you so very much for sharing your special family recipe for these cookies! I am so excited to make these and share them! I wish you a blessed Christmas holiday with your family. God Bless – Julie

  85. Wow, that was quite a production job, Marie! You must have been working for *hours*. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  86. My grandmother made these every Christmas growing up. I would love to surprise my family and make them this year. Please send me the actual recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!