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italian fig cookies - healthsoothe

Italian Fig Cookies (Cucidati) | Learn an Awesome Recipe for Making the Best Fig Cookies Ever

Cucidati or Italian fig cookies are traditionally made during Christmas time. With a filling of dried fruit and nuts, they bring sweetness to the table without relying on out-of-season fruit.

  • Total Time: 2hrs, 3mins
  • Yield: 75 cookies 1x



For the cookie dough:

  • Unsalted butter at room temperature
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • One large egg, also at room temperature
  • Vanilla extract for flavor
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt

For the fruit filling:

  • Dried Calimyrna or Mission Figs. These can be found in the dried fruit section of your local grocery store near raisins and nuts.
  • Dried dates like Medjool, or substitute raisins if preferred.
  • Fresh orange juice
  • Dried, candied orange peel
  • Granulated sugar
  • Fresh lemon zest
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Finely chopped blanched almonds
  • Spiced rum, Grand Marnier, or additional orange juice

For the lemon glaze (if that’s what you want to use):

  • Powdered sugar
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Sprinkles


For the Icing (if that’s what you want to use)

  • 1 cup of powdered sugar/confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of milk
  • Rainbow nonpareil sprinkles


For the Filling

  • In the bowl of a food processor, add all of the ingredients for the filling. Pulse until smooth, thick paste forms. All ingredients should be very well blended and there should be no large pieces of fruit or nuts.
  • Cover and set aside.

For the Dough

  • To make the dough, add flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl.
  • Whisk together until combined.
  • Using a box grater, shred the cold butter over a small piece of parchment paper. (see notes)
  • Add the butter into the bowl of dry ingredients and gently toss the shredded butter until coated.
  • In a small bowl, add the eggs and beat slightly with a fork. Add the vanilla extract and stir.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the flour and butter mixture.
  • Add the water, starting with ½ cup. Gently stir the wet ingredients into the flour (a Danish whisk works well here).
  • If the dough is looking dry, add a little more water. Be careful not to add too much – the dough should never become wet or sticky.
  • Using your hands, begin to bring the dough together into a large ball.
  • Wrap the ball in a piece of plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 1 hour.

Making the Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Add the fig filling to a piping bag or large plastic zip lock bag. Cut a ½” opening at the tip of the bag.
  • When ready, prepare a surface for rolling the dough. Take a portion of the dough and place it on a well-floured surface.
  • Roll the dough to ⅛” thick in a long rectangle shape that is at least 5-6″ wide.
  • Using a sharp knife, trim the dough to approximately 5-6″ wide and 10-12″ long. It’s ok if the dough is not as long – width is really most important here.
  • Leaving a ½” edge on the side of the dough, pipe the filling down the full length of the dough area.
  • With floured hands, use the edge to roll the dough over the piped fig mixture until it meets the other side of the dough surface.
  • Cut along the seam and pull the roll away from the remaining rolled dough.
  • Rotate the cookie roll so that the seam is on the bottom. Gently press to seal.
  • Cut into 1 ½” pieces.
  • Repeat steps 6 – 10 with the remaining rolled dough. For the second roll, there may be a small amount of excess dough on the edge, which should be trimmed.
  • Place cookies onto the prepared baking sheet. Leave about 1 ½ inches of space in between each cookie.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes or until very lightly golden brown.
  • Let them set on the for 5 minutes, and then transfer them to a wire rack to completely cool.
  • While the cookies are cooling, make the glaze.
  • In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar and milk until completely smooth.
  • Add the icing to a piping bag or zip-lock bag. Cut a small amount off the tip.
  • Drizzle the icing on top of the cookies without letting it drip down the sides showing the fig filling.
  • Top with colored sprinkles such as rainbow nonpareils.


Don’t skip the Orange Zest 

I’ve found the orange zest to be a key ingredient in this cookie recipe. It adds just the right amount of brightness and freshness to the fig filling. It is aromatic and gives the Italian fig cookies a bright flavor. The combination of orange, spices, and dried fruit is nothing short of magical.

  • Author: Odudu Abasi Mkpong
  • Prep Time: 45mins
  • Chill Time: 1hr
  • Cook Time: 18mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Low Fat


  • Serving Size: 18
  • Calories: 178Kcak
  • Sugar: 13g
  • Sodium: 166mg
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 24g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg

Keywords: Italian Fig cookies