Saturday, December 18, 2010
Italian fig cookies (Cucidati)
Do you like Spicy Fruit Rolls? They were one of my favourite biscuits as a child, so when I saw a recipe for Italian fig cookies that looked just like Spicy Fruit Rolls on p76 of the Christmas 2008 edition of Family Circle, I knew they'd be perfect for my Christmas boxes.
For me, these cookies were best after a couple of days when the fruit had softened the cookie and the flavours had matured. If I make them again, I would roll the dough thinner, as the cookies were a little on the chunky side for me. However, they are very tasty in a rich, fruity way.
To make them, you will need:
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
250g butter, chopped
2-3 tablespoons milk
extra flour for dusting and kneading
185g dried figs
60g pitted dates
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup undrained crushed pineapple
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
3 teaspoons plain flour
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
For the filling, put the dates and figs in a bowl, pour boiling water over them to cover, and stand for 5 minutes. Drain off the water and transfer the fruit to a food processor. Add the raisin, and process the fruit until smooth. Put the pureed fruit into a bowl and add the pineapple, sugar, pecans, flour, orange rind, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover the bowl with cling film, and refrigerate overnight.
Next day, put the flour, baking powder and sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and process until the mixture is crumbly. Add the egg and 2 tablespoons of milk, and process until the dough comes together. Add the extra tablespoon of milk if necessary for the right consistency.
Turn the dough out onto a bench and knead until smooth. Cut the dough in half.
Roll half of the dough into a 32cm x10cm rectangle. Spoon half of the filling lengthways into the centre of the rolled out dough. Fold the sides of the dough over the filling and roll it t become a log-shape. Repeat with the other half of the dough, then wrap both roll in cling film and freeze for 20 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. Remove the rolls of dough from the freezer and cut them into 1cm thick slices. Place the slices of dough onto the baking trays, and bake one tray at a time for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove the biscuits from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.