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
1 egg
2-3 tablespoons milk
extra flour for dusting and kneading


185g dried figs
60g pitted dates
150g raisins
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.


Elaine said...

Fig newtons are my absolute favorite cookie, (not sure if you have those in Australia) so I must try this recipe. They look so good!

Johanna GGG said...

I loved those fig biscuits and would love these - I always love fruit mixes with pineapple so this makes me want to try it

yummychunklet said...

Interesting cookies. My mother likes a lot of these fruits, so I may make them for her when she comes to visit next week!

AmyRuth said...

Wow....I could send you my address if you want? he he
I love fig newtons and those look a lot like yumminess to me.

Thanks for sharing

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe you just reminded me about spicy fruit rolls! I used to call them pillow biscuits and I loved them! How cute are these?

Heavenly Housewife said...

A great holiday cookie! I think my Mr P would love these. I immgine they would just melt in the mouth with a cup of tea.I dont mind the thick cookie layer. I think they look great the way they are.
*kisses* HH

Cakelaw said...

Hi Elaine, we don't have fig newtons here. although I love the name - so cute!

Johanna, I saw my friend Steve today who said he loved these. I loved the fruity centre but the dough not so much, so it's funny how different things appeal to different tastes.

YC, let me know how you go if you do!

LOL Amy Ruth - if I had it these would have been yours. I had heaps left over and took them in to work.

Hi Lorraine, yes! We called them pillow biscuits too - I think there may have been a very old ad campaign that compared them to liitle pillows of goodness.

Thanks HH - hope Mr P likes them.

Cakelaw said...

Here it is - an early little pillows ad; but I am sure there was a TV campaign in the 70s with a similar slogan:

jillbert said...

Your cookies look much nicer than the spicy fruit rolls! And the spicy fruit rolls look a lot like Fig Newtons. I don't know if they taste the same, but Fig Newtons are good!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

A great cookie for the holiday baking! Love fig.

Beth said...

I love figs. Your cookies look amazing!

The Caked Crusader said...

My name is the Caked Crusader...and I'm a figrollaholic. These look AWESOME!

crustabakes said...

What an interesting cookie with some interesting filling! :)

sarah @ For the Love of Food said...

Yes! I did used to love the pillow biscuits! I really like the look of these although I reckon I'd also make them thinner to get more filling to biscuit ratio.

Cakelaw I can't keep up with your prodigious output over the last week! You must be cooking up a storm.

The Blonde Duck said...

They sound delicious!

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

Sexed up spicy fruit rolls! That filling looks like a winner :)

Jennifer said...

You always put your goodies on the loveliest plates! Those fig bars look delectable!