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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 paternal grandparents these cookies were known as "uccidati". In Italian they are normally called "cuccidati". Some use the word "buccellati" A plethora of recipes for Italian fig cookies can be found by googling "cuccidati cookies" and "buccellati cookies". My wife of Scotch-Irish heritage went out of her way to master the baking of cuccidati each Christmas - she soon realized how much I considered them to be a part of my traditional Christmas.
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 full batch to make the estimated 4-5 dozen cookies, they would need to be probably four times the size of Fig Newtons. Maybe that's what you're going for, but I think that's a mammoth wad of fig goo. I also think the dough-to-filling ratio is a bit off. I would probably use 2/3 as much filling next time. Still, this recipe was spot-on in terms of making tasty fig-filled cookies. The raisins and apple add a nice sweetness to the dried figs without interfering with the flavor. Be careful not to overdo the orange.
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 flavor to it that I can't really get used to. Perhaps I'm just a purist in these situations, but I still think that using real butter in baked items such as these is still the best way to go...and somebody has yet to prove to me otherwise! I think I will try making these cookies again using butter instead of shortening to see how it turns out.
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 a mixture of dried fruits (figs raisins candied orange and lemon peel pineapple candied cherries etc.). Then we flavor it with bourbon and let the mixture sit for a day or two. They are absolutely delicious and freeze beautifully.
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 chocolate chip cookies chocolate cookies plain vanilla cookies and thumbprint jelly cookies. Every time they have been amazing.
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 butter remember to put the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour so the butter sets up and you can roll out the dough easier. Also be careful about using the full recipe becasue it makes a lot of cookies. I used 1/3 of the recipe for the filling and 1/4 of it for the dough. It made about 18 cookies. I made some cookies with the left over dough and put vanilla icing and sprinkles on them. Very tasty with coffee.
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 vacuum base. There are electric ones and Kitchen Aid has one as an attachment for their mixer. A food processor will not substitute for a grinder. The texture will be different and much coarser which is why your filling was too thick and dry.
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. Are we related Mary Jo? Sal in Erie