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Italian Fig Cookies I

Rated as 4.46 out of 5 Stars

"This recipe has been handed down through my mother's family for years. My grandmother brought it with her from Italy in the early 1900's. My mom taught me the recipe this year. Now I am the designated person in our family to make the Fig Cookies. This is a very high honor. So they must be as good as my Grandmothers' cookies. Some call them Homemade Fig Newtons. They are a tradition at Christmas and are wonderful with a hot cup of coffee. They are lot of work. I make them in stages. First the dough, then a few days later the figs, and finally I will make the cookies. The dough and the figs keep well in the refrigerator and the cookies freeze very well."
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servings 301
Original recipe yields 60 servings (4 -5 dozen)


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  1. To Make Dough: Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt. Blend in flour and baking powder by hand. Knead dough until smooth and workable. Add milk to reach workable consistency. (This takes a while and you will get a workout, but you'll know when it's right.)
  2. To Make Filling: Cut up figs, orange, and apple into small pieces. (It is easier to grind this way). Grind figs, raisins, orange, and apple. If the mixture is too dry or thick, mix in up to 1 cup of water, if desired. (I do not use the water, the juice from the apple and orange are enough). The spices and chopped nuts are added to the ground fig mixture. After the fig mixture is ground, I sprinkle them in over the mixture and mix (knead) it in by hand. STICKY! But good.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. Roll out some dough. (should be kind of thin). Put fig mixture in a line. Wrap dough over mixture, sealing figs inside dough. Trim to desired length, using a diagonal cut. Make small diagonal slits in the sides of the cookies. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes. (Dough makes good cookies without the filling also). Wonderful with coffee.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 301 calories; 10.1 51.9 4.1 19 72 Full nutrition

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  1. 35 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

This is an excellent recipe for a traditional Sicilian Christmas cookie. Almost all Americans with grandparents from Sicily are thoroughly familiar with this fig cookie. In the dialect of my pat...

Most helpful critical review

I found the dough didn't seem to have the right consistence so I will experiment but I used mincemeat instead of the figs and besides the dough not coming out right it was delicious

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This is an excellent recipe for a traditional Sicilian Christmas cookie. Almost all Americans with grandparents from Sicily are thoroughly familiar with this fig cookie. In the dialect of my pat...

This recipe makes tasty cookies, but the quantity estimate is way way off. I made a quarter-batch and it produced 41 cookies that were probably twice the size of Fig Newtons. In order for a fu...

These cookies are quite good! I am a big fan of Fig Newtons, and I would prefer these to the Newtons any day! The only complaint I have though is that the dough definitely has a shortening fla...

My family has been making a similar recipe for as long as I can remember, always at Christmas time. My family is Sicilian and to us they are called "Cuchidata." The difference is that we grind...

This is the most dynamic cookie recipe I've come across. The fig cookies came out amazingly -- tasted just like fig newtons. I have also used just the dough recipe to make peanut butter cookies,...

First time making fig newtons. These cookies are pretty easy to make and they taste great! My friends all raved about them. I used non salted butter in place of shortening. But if you use butt...

this reciped is so close to the one my grandmother left me but instead of figs or dates for filling i found this dough excellent for mincemeat filling without all the fuss.

Grinding the filling means to put it in what is called a meat or sausage grinder. The manual ones clip onto the edge of the table or cabinet and a handle is turned. There are some that have a ...

this is the same recipe my Mom used and now I use. It was great seeing it here. We were the only ones that I knew of that used the orange. It came out the same as my recipe and was delicious....