Tasha Kupinski

Cuccidati (Italian Fig Cookies)

Dough

4 cups flour
1 cups sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp. vanilla

Filling

1 cup dried figs
1/2 cup dried dates, pitted
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brandy
1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
~1 1/2 tbsp. milk

Filling: Grind figs, dates and raisins. Add spices and nuts to the ground fig mixture. Mix in the honey and brandy until thoroughly wet. Refrigerated overnight.

Dough: Cream butter. Add sugar, eggs and vanilla, and beat until creamy. Add flour, baking powder and salt. When combined, slowly add milk and mix on low. Remove from bowl and knead for a couple of minutes.

Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll out one piece so it's about 4 inches wide and 8-10 inches long. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into one long stip that is about 3 inches wide. Spoon filling down the middle of the strip. Fold one side over the filling, and turn the roll seam-side down. Press down gently to make sure seam is sealed. Cut every 1/2-3/4 inches with a floured knife.

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for 12-15 mins (until golden brown) at 375 degrees. Once cooled, mix icing ingredients until smooth, frost cookies, and sprinkle with small, multicolored decorative candies, if desired.