Is there ever in this world a cookie so associated with Christmas in the Italian community as the Cuccidati? I think not. Thank goodness the Cuccidati spread their delightfulness far beyond the shores of Italia. These citron flavored fig cookies with raisins and minced almonds, wrapped in a light buttery pastry are to me, one of the best parts of the holiday season. Dipped in powdered sugar icing and capped with red and green sprinkles, I have devoured these luscious little pillows for more years than I care to remember. I can only hope for many more years of figgy cookies!
I was first taught how to make these 2 bite morsels by my Unit Secretary at Sisters of Charity Hospital back in, oh….1982, I think. Jo was a marvelous baker and enjoyed treating her Nurses at every holiday. I experimented over the years until I developed a recipe that was just right for me and my family. Anyone who makes these cookies has definite opinions on what should be and should not be included. Some people would never include orange. Some will add dates but not raisins. Honey? I love it. Others do not. Some cooks like cinnamon in the filling. Surely not for me! In my humble opinion this recipe is just plain perfect. But, then why do I think the Cuccidati that Sharon’s Mom makes are the best in the world? LOL! Go ahead and try these. Taste the filling as you go and you decide if it is “just right” as is, or if you need to tweak it to your liking.
Enough talking. Let’s go build us some Cuccidati!