Home Italy Revisited Bookshelf Plays About Mary Melfi Contact Us
Cookies with Nuts
cucidati Sicilian fig cookies
Cucidati (Sicilian fig cookies filled with dried figs, walnuts or hazelnuts, honey, raisins and orange zest)
Originated from: Sicily, Italy
Occasion: Christmas and other holidays
Contributed by: Adapted from "The Art of Sicilian Cooking" by Anna Muffoletto (1971)

Printer Friendly Version


For pastry dough
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk

For filling
1 pound (about 2 3/4 cups) dried figs, finely chopped
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 pound (about 1 1/4 cups) walnuts or hazelnuts, lightly roasted and finely chopped
1 cup honey
1/2 cup whiskey
Finely grated zest of 1 small orange
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 3/4 cups icing sugar
Juice of 2 small lemons
Multicolored sprinkles

Equipment needed:
2 baking sheets, greased or lined with parchment paper

YIELD: about 4 dozen cookies


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

To make the filling

Grease two baking sheets (or line them with parchment paper).

Mix dried figs with whiskey and using an electric blender grind the figs.

Mix in the raisins, orange zest and walnuts and grind to a coarse consistency.

Stir in honey and cinnamon; mix well (The mixture should have the look of a thick paste.). Set aside.

To make the pastry dough

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together.

Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in eggs, vanilla, and milk and work into a smooth and malleable dough.

For the dough into a ball.

Using a rolling pin roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick.

Cut dough into 4 1/2-inch strips.

On one half of strip, spread a row of filling 1 inch thick.

Fold over dough half to cover filling.

Press edges together to seal filling in.

Slicing on a slant, cut filled strip into 1-inch slices.

Repeat process until dough and filling are finished.

VARIATION: Cut dough into stars, rounds or crescents with cookie cutter. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in center of dough; cover with same dough shape and press edges together with fork. Cut small slits on top of each cookie.

To bake cookies

Place the cookies on greased baking sheets (or ones lined with parchment paper) 1 inch apart an bake until slices are light browned -- 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool.


Combine icing sugar and lemon juice; mix into smooth glaze.

Glaze cookies with icing and decorate with multicolored sprinkles.


The recipe in this entry was adapted from "The Art of Sicilian Cooking" by Anna Muffoletto (New York: Doubleday, 1971). The cookbook can be borrowed for free at the on-line public library, www.openlibrary.org.... Photo: Mary Melfi.

Back to main list