These cucidati are Italian Celebration cookies. It takes a team to make these, so gather friends and family
- 4 cups Gold Medal™ Unbleached (All-Purpose Flour)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 cups dried figs (soaked in water)
- 2 cups dried dates (pitted)
- 1 1/2 cups raisins
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- zest and peel from 3 medium oranges or 1/2 cup orange marmalade
- 2/3 cup pecans (coarsely chopped)
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 tsp each allspice (cloves, nutmeg)
- 1 large egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
- 2 lb confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup Real Butter (melted))
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- assorted food coloring
- multi-colored sprinkles
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a large bowl. Add the sugar and stir well.
- Cut in the shortening with a fork and work the mixture until it looks like corn meal. In a bowl, beat the egg, vanilla, and milk together.
- Add to the flour mixture and work the mixture with your hands into a rough dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth. The dough will be soft.
- Cut the dough into 4 pieces, wrap each piece in plastic wrap, and chill for 45 minutes.
- Bring the water and allspice, nutmeg and cloves to a slow boil, reduce heat to low and cover.
- To make the filling, grind the figs, dates, and raisins in a meat grinder or in a food processor until coarse; or coarsely chop.
- Place the mixture in a bowl, add the honey, cinnamon, marmalade, chocolate and nuts and mix well. Add the spice brew and mix well.The mixture will be thick. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets.
- Divide the dough into quarters and work with 1 piece of dough at a time, keeping the remaining dough covered.
- On a floured surface, roll out each piece of dough to a 12-inch square.
- Cut the dough into 4-X-3-inch rectangles,and spoon 2 tablespoons of the filling mixture down the center of each rectangle.
- Carefully fold over the long edges of each rectangle to meet in the center, then pinch the seam to close it securely, and turn the cookie seam side down.
- Pinch the ends closed and fold the ends under.
- You can shape the cookies into crescents and place seam side down on the cookie sheets.Or make wreath shapes (at Christmas) or just cut into thumb lengths.
- Make 2 or 3 diagonal slits in the top of each crescent with scissors.
- Brush with the egg wash
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
- Once cooled you can frost if you like with the confectioner sugar glaze and add colored sprinkles.
- In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth.
- Beat in butter and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy.
- Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity.
- Spoon over cookies, or paint them with a brush.
- Category: Cookies, Dessert
- Cuisine: Italian/Sicilian