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Cuccidati

Cuccidati is a Sicilian Christmas Cookie we have been making for some time. I’ve played with the original recipe a lot and add pistachios and Marsala – because it’s Sicilian! The filling needs to be made at least one day in advance – a couple is better – to let the flavors meld.

The first image on the left shows three different ways of making the same cookie. It’s also traditional to cut the ends to form an “X”.

I’ve changed the recipe – again. For 2017, I made the dough with butter instead of lard – and the dough was richer.

Have fun with it!

 

The Filling

  • 1 lb dried figs
  • 1 lb dried dates
  • 1/4 lb raisins
  • 1/4 lb dried cherries
  • 1 seeded tangerine-peel and all
  • 1 1/2 cups pistachios
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup Marsala
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Working in batches, finely mince the dried fruit, tangerine, crushed pineapple, and nuts in a food processor. Transfer to a large bowl and mix well. Add the sugar, Marsala, and cinnamon, and mix it all together. Filling will be sticky but should hold together if pressed. Place in container and refrigerate for a day or two to meld the flavors.

The Dough

  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt

Cream sugar and butter until light. Add eggs one at a time and then vanilla and milk and mix well.

Mix flour with baking powder and slowly add one cup at a time until a reasonably-firm – but not sticky or dry – dough is formed. Refrigerate about an hour.

To Make Cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F. Take a piece of dough and roll into a rope about an inch and a half around. Roll into a long, flat shape.

Take a piece of filling and roll it into a rope and place down the center of the dough. Brush one edge with egg wash and roll dough over filling to seal.

Cut on an angle about every half-inch and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets.

Bake 13-15 minutes or till lightly browned.

Cool and frost, as desired, with milk and powdered sugar glaze and sprinkles.

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