Sandra Scalise Juneau's Cuccidata
Sicilian Fig Cookies


Ingredients for 2 pounds fig filling:

  • 2 pounds dried Greek figs
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsps honey
  • 2 tbsps orange zest
  • pinch black pepper (1/8 tsp)

Ingredients for 10 pounds fig filling:

  • 10 pounds dried Greek figs
  • 5 tbsps cinnamon
  • 1 cup honey
  • ½ cup orange zest
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper

Remove stems from figs. Rinse thoroughly in warm water to soften. Drain off any excess water. Set aside.

Season figs with cinnamon, mixing thoroughly. Coat with honey then blend in orange zest and black pepper. Grind fig mixture to a fine ground texture using an electric meat grinder (not a food processor).

After mixture is ground, mix thoroughly to blend all ingredients. Separate into 1 or 2-pound packages wrapped in plastic food wrap and sealed in plastic bags. This mixture will keep in refrigerator for several weeks, or it may be frozen for up to 6 months.


Ingredients for large fig cake designs:

  • 5 pounds plain flour
  • 1 cup white vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2-3 cups warm water (gradually add as needed to form a moist dough)

Ingredients for small fig cakes:

  • 5 cups plain flour
  • ¾ cup white vegetable shortening
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1-2 cups warm water (gradually add as needed to form a moist dough)

In a food processor (or by hand), blend flour and shortening to a cornmeal texture. Set aside.

Dissolve sugar in warm (tepid, not boiling) water. Gradually add sugar/water to flour mixture and blend until dough forms a ball. If dough is too dry, gradually add more water as needed. Cover, set aside and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

Separate dough into workable sized balls (for large cakes, about 6 inches across, for individual cookies, about 3 inches across). Knead each ball to a smooth texture and return to bowl. Cover again, then allow dough to rest for several more minutes.



  • Prepared fig filling
  • Prepared dough balls

Preheat oven to 250°F. Roll a small piece of dough (about a 2-inch ball) into the thickness of pie pastry. Cut into 4" x 12" strips. Shape fig filling into ½-inch wide rolls. Fill center of dough with fig mixture.

Fold sides of pastry over figs, overlapping dough slightly. Turn over, seam side down, and pat lightly to flatten.

Cut on an angle into 1-inch long bars. Cut slits in sides and on top to allow filling to cook through. Bake at 250°F 20-30 minutes. Cookies should be slightly browned on the bottom only.
Allow to cool before icing cookies.


Ingredients for icing:

  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 drops almond extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • colored nonpareils (sugar sprinkles)

Combine milk and almond then gradually blend in sugar, mixing to a smooth paste. Icing should be the texture of heavy cream.

Thoroughly cool cuccidatae (cookies) before icing. Working over a small bowl, spoon icing onto each cookie, allowing excess to drip into the bowl.

Allow each cookie to dry slightly before sprinkling with colored nonpareils. Before packaging cookies, allow them to dry completely (if they last that long !).


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