Cuccidati - Italian Christmas Cookies

Cuccidati, also known as Italian cookies are traditionally served during the holidays. Sweet cookie dough filled with dried figs, dried dates, raisins, walnuts, chocolate, apricot jam, honey, and spices. Incredibly delicious little cookies!

A plate of eight Cuccidati cookies topped with rainbow spinkles

What Are Cuccidati?

Cuccidati are fig stuffed cookies originating from Sicily which are traditionally served at Christmas time.

The sweet dough is similar to that of a butter cookie and the filling is a mixture of dried fruits, honey, and spices.

There are many different ways to make Cuccidati, each way unique to its maker.

Enjoy these Cuccidati for dessert, with your afternoon tea, or even with your morning coffee.

Two cuccidati's topped with rainbow sprinkles on a small plate next to a mug of coffee

Ingredient Notes

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour (plain flour).
  • Sugar: Use granulated sugar to deliver the perfect amount of sweetness.
  • Baking Powder: Helps give the cookies a little lift.
  • Vanilla Extract and Salt: For flavor.
  • Butter: Butter helps makes these cookies tender and it adds flavor.
  • Egg: 1 large egg, beaten, is all you need to add structure to the cookies.
  • Milk: Use any percentage of cow's milk, almond milk, or soy milk.

For the filling:

  • Dried Figs: Figs are crucial to making Cuccidati. They add a bright, sweet flavor.
  • Dried Dates and Raisins: Dried dates and raisins help create a sweet, jam-like filling.
  • Walnuts: I love using walnuts, but you can use chopped pecans or any nuts you have on hand.
  • Chocolate Chips: Folded into the pureed mixture for additional sweetness.
  • Jam: I use apricot jam. Feel free to use any flavor jam, preferably orange or fig.
  • Honey: 1/2 cup of honey.
  • Orange Zest: Compliments the sweet ingredients.
  • Ground Cinnamon: 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

For the egg wash:

  • Egg White and Water: An egg wash is a mixture of egg and water brushed upon pastries and cookies to give them a shiny, golden finish.
  • Sprinkles: Optional for decoration.
Two and a half cuccidati's on a small plate next to a mug of coffee

How To Make This Recipe

For the Dough:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Add the egg and the vanilla.
  3. Add the butter and using a pastry/dough blender, two knives, or your fingers, cut in the butter. You want the mixture to be a cornmeal or pebble-like consistency.
  4. Add the milk and mix it into the dough. Using your hands, make a large roll with the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.

For the Filling:

  1. In a food processor, combine the figs, dates, and raisins and process to finely chop.
  2. Add the walnuts, chocolate chips, apricot jam, honey, orange zest, and cinnamon and process again. (If your food processor isn't big enough to hold the entire amount of filling, process in batches, then pour the filling into a large bowl and stir to combine).

To Assemble the Cuccidati:

  1. Cut the dough into 4 pieces.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough, one piece at a time. Cut the dough into long strips about 3-inches wide.
  3. Cut out squares from the rectangle strips. Flatten the squares slightly with your fingers and add a spoonful of the fig filling to the center.
A small rectangle of cuccidati dough topped with a dollop of filling from a cookie scoop on a cutting board

4. Fold the dough over, pinching the ends. Using a sharp knife, make 2 slits in each cookie. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and the water to make the egg wash. Brush the egg wash over each cookie.

6. Top with sprinkles.

Fourteen Cuccidati's topped with rainbow sprinkles on a baking sheet

8. Bake for 20 minutes, until cookies are golden brown.

Cuccidati's topped with rainbow sprinkles on a baking sheet fresh out of the oven

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Store Cuccidati?

Cuccidati can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for no more than two days after baking. After Day 2, they can also be kept in the refrigerator for up to three additional days. Allow them to come back to room temperature before serving.

Can I Add Extra Filling?

Yes, I like to put extra filling in the center so I get a really good taste of the figs.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this Cuccidati recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these recipes:

Cuccidati's topped with rainbow sprinkles on a dessert stand

Enjoy!

Cuccidati, also known as Sicilian Fig Cookies are traditionally served during the holidays. In my family, we enjoyed them year-round. The sweet dough is similar to that of a butter cookie and the filling is a mixture of dried figs, dried dates, raisins, walnuts, chocolate, apricot jam, honey, and spices.

Cuccidati - Sicilian Fig Cookies

Cuccidati, also known as Sicilian Fig Cookies are traditionally served during the holidays.The sweet dough is similar to that of a butter cookie and the filling is a mixture of dried figs, dried dates, raisins, walnuts, chocolate, apricot jam, honey, and spices.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cool: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 48 cookies
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

DOUGH

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg , beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 16 tablespoons butter , cut into pieces (2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup milk

FILLING

  • 2 1/2 cups dried figs
  • 1 cup dried dates
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

EGG WASH

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • colored sprinkles (for decorating)

Instructions

TO MAKE THE DOUGH

  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add the egg and the vanilla.
  • Add the butter and using a pastry/dough blender, two knives, or your fingers, cut in the butter. You want the mixture to be a cornmeal or pebble-like consistency.
  • Add the milk and mix it into the dough. Using your hands, make a large roll with the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.

TO MAKE THE FILLING

  • In a food processor, combine the figs, dates, and raisins and process to finely chop.
  • Add the walnuts, chocolate chips, apricot jam, honey, orange zest, and cinnamon and process again. (If your food processor isn't big enough to hold the entire amount of filling, process in batches, then pour the filling into a large bowl and stir to combine).

TO ASSEMBLE THE CUCCIDATI

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  • Cut the dough into 4 pieces.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough, one piece at a time. Cut the dough into long strips about 3-inches wide.
  • Cut out squares from the rectangle strips. Flatten the squares slightly with your fingers and add a spoonful of the fig filling to the center.
  • Fold the dough over, pinching the ends. Using a sharp knife, make 2 slits in each cookie. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and the water to make the egg wash. Brush the egg wash over each cookie.
  • Top with sprinkles.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until cookies are golden brown.

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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