Italian Fig Cookies

Total Time:
9 hr 30 min
Prep:
25 min
Inactive:
8 hr 45 min
Cook:
20 min

Yield:
4 dozen
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Filling:
  • 2 cups dried figs, hard tips discarded
  • 1 1/2 cups dried dates, pitted
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup whole walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • For Dough:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
  • Colored sprinkles, for decorating
Directions
  • To make the filling, in a food processor, combine the figs, dates and raisins and process to finely chop. Place the mixture in a medium bowl, add remaining filling ingredients and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

  • To make the dough, in a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine. Add the butter and blend with your fingertips until most of mixture resembles coarse meal.

  • In a medium bowl, beat the egg, milk and vanilla together. Add to the dry mixture and stir to make a rough dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cut the dough into 4 pieces, cover, and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets.

  • On a lightly floured surface, one at a time, roll out each piece of dough into a 12-inch square. Cut the dough into 4 by 3-inch rectangles. Spoon 2 tablespoons of filling down the center of each rectangle. Fold the long sides of each rectangle inward to the center to enclose the filling; pinch the edges to seal. Turn the cookies seam-sides down and press gently to flatten the seams. With a floured knife, cut the logs crosswise into 1 1/2-inch-wide slices and arrange 1/2-inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Brush with egg wash and decorate with colored sprinkles. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

  • Transfer to wire racks to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.


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