Have a Bossy Italian Christmas {Fig Cookie Recipe!}

Hey everyone, and a MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all. Can you tell how much my daughter LOVES Santa Claus? It may not seem like it, but this is a MAJOR improvement over last year.

It's been a little while, and I wanted to give you all a little update, along with a killer cookie recipe! We are all doing well in my home, and have been taking things a bit slower this school year. The focus has been on self and family, and I guess you could say we've been hunkering down.

You know what I noticed? I was so busy last year. Too busy. In fact, I was using busy to run from the hush that happens when you slow down and feel your emotions. A lot of us do that dull out the pain, but you know what also happens (besides it doesn't freaking work?) You dull out the joy too. And if it's one thing I LOVE it's JOY!

I have been taking my time to experience some real moments of inner quiet and joy, and it's got me back to the simple things in life that I relish. LIKE COOKING! I know...I haven't posted a recipe in a hot minute. But that doesn't mean I haven't been in my kitchen. I have! In fact, for Christmas Eve, my mom and I made ravioli together, 210 of those hand filled and rolled little suckers!



I am already drooling thinking about eating them...and if you're interested, you can find my posted ravioli recipes HERE and HERE. This time around, we filled our ravioli with meat and mushrooms. I always think of grandma when I make them because it was the last meal I ever made her, and a sweet shared memory for my mom and me.

I have also been baking a gosh-darn storm of cookies! Since sharing is caring, I wanted to share with you all a recipe for my family's fig cookies, called Cucidatis. My Uncle David is the cookie master in our family, but I am also becoming a good baker. I took the base of his recipe and tweaked it for my own purposes. I hope you enjoy it!


Fig Cookies "Cucidati" 

You will need:

Dough:
1 cup shortening 
1 1/2 cups sugar 
3 eggs 
Dash of salt
4 cups all purpose flour 
3.5 teaspoons baking powder 
1 tablespoon vanilla 
1/2 cup milk (or almond milk) 

Filling: 
9 oz (or a "heavy" cup) of fig spread or preserves 
3/4 cup raisins 
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
3 teaspoons sugar 
water for blending 

Icing (optional) 
2 cups powdered sugar
two teaspoons of milk or water (until you reach desired consistency) 
Sprinkles 

Method

In a mixer, cream sugar and shortening together. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt. Add the baking powder and then half the flour, slowly, so you don't throw flour around your entire living space. Mix in the remaining flour by hand. Add the milk in and continue to mix by hand. If you find the dough unworkable, or too dry, add splashes of milk until it gets there. Place your prepared dough in the refrigerator to chill at least a couple of hours, but up to overnight. 

For filling: Using a food processor, add all of your filling ingredients (except water). Blend. Add water as needed to reach a nice consistency that is somewhat like jam. 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. 

**I would like to note that there are any number of ways to fill your cookies. My mom remembers them as triangles, but frankly, our triangle ones came out looking loopy. I like them to look more like filled pockets. If you can't make sense of my directions for filling, just wing it!**

Prepare your cookies by dividing up your dough into four equal portions. Starting with the first portion, you are going to want to roll out the dough into a basic rectangle, making the dough thin. Place a line of fig filling in the center and then for over the dough to cover the filling. To cut the cookies, measure them one inch and then cut and place them on an uncreased cookie sheet. I think a pizza cutter or a dough scraper work perfectly for this! (Repeat with the remaining dough.) 

Bake in your preheated oven for about 15 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack. 

Once cooled, you can ice them, if desired, and top with sprinkles. Also notable, these cookies freeze really well!!! 

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