Sicilian Fig Cookies

From... Esposito, Mary Ann. Celebrations Italian Style. New York:William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1995.

Sicilian fig-filled cookies are traditional for a wedding cookie cake. These can be made ahead, layered in airtight containers, and frozen until needed. Arrange them at the bottom of the cookie cake, since they are a little heavier than some of the other cookies. The recipe below  makes 4 dozen.


4 Cups Flour - unbleached all-purpose
1 1/2 Tsp. Baking powder
1/4 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Vegetable shortening - solid
1 Lg. Egg
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Tbl. Vanilla


2 Cups Figs - dried
2 Cups Dates, dried & pitted
1 1/2 Cups Raisins
1/2 Cup Honey
1 Tsp. Cinnamon, ground
1/5 Cup Marmalade, Orange
1 1/4 Cups Walnuts or almonds, coarsely chopped (10 Oz.)
1    Egg white, beaten with water for egg wash
1 Q.B. Colored sprinkles


Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a large bowl. Add the sugar and mix well. Cut in the shortening with a fork and work the mixture until it looks like coarse cornmeal.

In a bowl, beat the egg, milk, and vanilla together. Add to the flour and work the ingredients with your hands until a rough dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth. The dough will be soft. Cut the dough into 4 pieces, wrap each piece in plastic wrap, and chill for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375E Lightly grease two cookie sheets. Grind the figs, dates, and raisins in a meat grinder or in a food processor until coarse. Or coarsely chop with a large knife. Place the mixture in a bowl, add the remaining filling ingredients, and mix well. The mixture will be thick. Set aside.

On a floured surface, roll out one piece of dough at a time into a 12-inch square. Cut the dough into 4 by 3-inch rectangles. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the filling mixture down the center of each rectangle. Carefully fold the long edges of each rectangle over to meet in the center, then pinch the seam to close securely. Turn the cookies seam side down and seal the short ends by folding the dough under. Shape the cookies into crescents and place on the cookie sheets.

Make 2 or 5 diagonal slits in the top of each crescent with scissors. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle on the colored sprinkles. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on racks.

Note: I wrap the crescents individually in plastic wrap, twist the ends, and tie them with ribbons. They make a wonderful Christmas present. They can be made ahead and frozen.


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Last updated on:06/03/99 12:50:45 AM