Cuccidati Italian Fig Date Cookies
6 to 8 medium figs
8 ounces raisins
8 ounces brown sugar
1 pound walnuts
1 pound dates
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 ounces whiskey
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 3 oranges
4 teaspoons orange juice
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a food processor, grind figs and raisins. In large saucepan, simmer raisins and figs with brown sugar and water for 15 minutes. Grind walnuts, dates, and orange. Stir into hot mixture along with cinnamon, black pepper, and whiskey. Remove from stove, mix well, cover, and let age for up to three days.
Note: This makes enough filling to 2 batches of the crust. You can divide and freeze the remaining filling for up to six months.
In large bowl, cream together margarine, sugar and eggs. Add orange juice and orange zest.
In separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add to creamed mixture and then, add vanilla. Roll dough into 3-inch wide strips.
To BAKE: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lay filling down the center of the dough strips and wrap dough to form a long "log-like" bar cookie. Roll back and forth until crust seems very thin. Cut on the diagonal about every 1 1/2 inches.
Place on cookie sheet close together and bake for 10-13 minutes. Cookies should be barely brown when done. Cool and store in tins for several days (about 3 to 4 days), then frost.
Pairs Well With
I have worked on this recipe that was done without any written instructions for MANY years in my great-grandma and grandma's kitchens. Always remember to taste and adjust, this recipe is a great guideline but create your own traditions!
(Make the filling a few days ahead of time.)