baker henrik

Amber Guetebier, Red Tricycle’s Mobile Editor shares this recipe and tells us, “I made these for my Sicilian friend for Christmas. They are totally time-consuming (over 2 hrs from start to finish) but perfect if you want something autentico for the holidays, and if your kids are tenacious and into baking and getting covered in flour and honey. If your kids are a little less patient, try making the dough the night before. The filling is delightfully sticky and the end product has a wonderful, not-too-sweet flavor. Traditionally these are covered in a powdered sugar based icing and then covered with sprinkles, but I skip that step and add sprinkles after the egg wash to get them to stick, because you don’t want to skip the sprinkles!”

Ingredients:

Dough:
4 cups of flour
1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 sugar
1 cup butter
1 large egg
2 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk

Filling:
2 cups of dried figs (soaked in warm water for about 20 minutes)
2 cups of dried dates
1/2 cup of raisins (soak in warm water for about 20 minutes)
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of orange marmalade
2 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Egg wash: 1 large egg white beaten with 1 tbsp. water for an egg wash
Sprinkles

cuccidati_italian fig cookies

Method:
1. Sift together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) and then stir in sugar. Using a fork, cut the butter into the flour mixture. Tip: freeze the butter and then use a grater to shred it into the flour mix, much like you would for a pie crust. Beat the egg, vanilla, and milk together and slowly add to the flour mixture, working with hands to make dough. Turn that out on to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or so, until nice and smooth and soft. Divide into 4 pieces, wrap each piece, and place put in refrigerator for at least 45 minutes (or overnight).

2. Grind the figs, dates, raisins and nuts (if not coarsely chopped) in a food processor until coarse. (You can also just chop them, but a food processor is easier). Put this mix in a bowl and add the honey, cinnamon, and marmalade.

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3. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets.

4. Take out the dough and roll each piece into about a 12 inch square. Cut the dough into 4×3 rectangles. Put about 2 tbsp of the filling into the center (in a line) and roll the dough over. This makes a tube. pinch the ends and then shape lightly into a crescent. Make diagonal slits across the top, and then place onto pan. Brush with egg mix and sprinkles (before baking).

5. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Tell us what you think of these cookies in the Comments below. Will you attempt to make them this year?

recipe and first photo above courtesy of Amber Guetebier; featured and second photo credit: tibbygirl via Flickr