Marry Me, Maria: Italian Fig Cookies (Cucidati)

9 Nov

A few weeks back, my aunt Maria, the baby of five sisters, got married to a nice guy named Lou.  The Capasso/D’Agrosa family wedding was an Italian celebration of epic proportions.  Family alone numbered nearly 60 and there were heartfelt vows, trays and trays of toasted ravioli, lamb, shrimp and cookies.  As if that weren’t stereotypical enough, we actually forced the band to play the Tarantella and danced in a circle around the room for a full ten minutes.

Maria, Lou and their sons, Sam and Nicholas

Aunts Maria and Lisa boogie down

Most importantly, we had fig cookies.  These were a T specialty and although she didn’t make them for this celebration, they are present at all Capasso shindigs.  They are somewhat time-consuming, but worth it for a special gathering.  I like mine sprinkled with non-pareils and refrigerated for just a few minutes before eating.

CUCIDATI (Makes 60 cookies)

Filling:
3 pounds figs
2C raisins
1C roasted almonds or hazelnuts
Peel of 2 oranges, roasted
1/2C honey
1t cinnamon
1/2t ground cloves
1/2t pepper

Clip hard tip from figs and soak with raisins in hot water for 15 minutes; drain.  Put figs, raisins, almonds and orange peel through food mill or food processor.  Add honey and spices; mix well.  Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Dough:
4C all-purpose flour
1C sugar
1T baking powder
Dash salt
3/4C shortening
3 eggs
1/2C milk, approximately
1/2t vanilla extract

Mix flour with sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut in shortening with fingers until mixture resembles corn meal.  Make a well and break in eggs.  Add half of the milk and vanilla.  Start mixing liquid into the flour, adding only enough milk to make a medium-soft dough which is easy to handle.  Knead until dough is smooth, about 5 minutes.  Lightly flour pastry cloth; take a piece of dough and roll into a long strip about 4 inches wide and as thin as pie crust.  Place some of the filling along the center of the dough.  Fold dough over to cover filling, trimming off excess dough.  Roll slightly to make a roll and pat down a little to flatten.  Cut into 1 1/2  inch diagonals.  With tip of scissors, clip tops of cookies (so filling shows through).  Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Frost with slightly beaten egg white mixed with enough powdered sugar to thicken.  Sprinkle with non-pareils or colored candies.

My mom and I enjoy cookies at the rehearsal bowling party

Best wedding ever!  Mangia!

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4 Responses to “Marry Me, Maria: Italian Fig Cookies (Cucidati)”

  1. Maria Capasso-D'Agrosa November 10, 2011 at 6:47 AM #

    Wonderful!!!! Love it!

  2. Lisa November 10, 2011 at 4:54 PM #

    Can’t believe this! It’s awesome!

  3. Sr. Rosemary DeDentro November 11, 2011 at 1:09 PM #

    Enjoyed reading your blog and the photos were perfect for the story!

  4. Tony November 11, 2011 at 4:24 PM #

    Great!! Spinach Pie recipe up next? What a cool idea & blog!

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