Cuccidati (Italian Fig and Date Bar Cookies)
3/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Rind of 1 orange
4 teaspoons orange juice
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 string of figs
8 ounces raisins
8 ounces brown sugar
1 pound walnuts
1 pound dates
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 ounces whiskey
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups water
3 cups powdered sugar
4 ounces butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Crust: In large bowl, cream together first 3 ingredients. Add orange
juice and orange rind. In separate bowl, combine flour and baking
powder. Add to creamed mixture along with vanilla.
Filling: Prepare several days ahead of time. In a food grinder,
grind figs and raisins. In large saucepan, simmer raisins and figs
with brown sugar and water for 15 minutes. Grind walnuts, dates, and
orange. Stir into hot mixture along with cinnamon, black pepper, and
whiskey. Remove from stove, mix well, cover, and let mellow for 3
Note: This recipe makes enough filling for 2 batches of crust and
can be divided and frozen for up to six months.
Roll dough into 3-inch wide strips on pastry cloth. Lay filling down
the center and wrap dough to form a long "sausage-like" cookie. Roll
back and forth until crust seems very thin. Cut in diagonal about
every 1 1/2 inches. Place on cookie sheet close together and bake
for 10-13 minutes. Cookies should be barely brown. Cool and store in
tins 5 days, then frost.
Frosting: In medium bowl, mix together margarine and powdered sugar
until well blended. Add enough juice to make a thick glaze. Top
cookies with a thin coat. Let frosting dry a couple of hours then
store in tins as follows.
To Store: Line tins with foil, place a layer of cookies, then a
layer of wax paper (NOT plastic wrap). Keep repeating, ending with
foil and then the lid.
NOTE: You have to make the filling 3