These biscotti X fig cookies (obviously) get their name for the way they look. If you are a lover of figs, you need to try this recipe! These Italian style treats have quite a long list of steps and ingredients, but they are well worth making. If you want to seriously impress with your holiday baking that is! These are Buccellati Christmas cookies that you need to try.
When Christmas cookies time rolls around, you might be wondering what kind of cookies to make. These are especially good though, because they taste amazing. Really – not many cookies boast such a rich flavour in every bite! Every Italian nonna (mine included) has a lot of cookie recipes under her belt. Nobody bakes quite like grandma. And this is one of the most-requested recipes when Christmas rolls around.
Orange and vanilla flavour the dough and it is paired with a wonderful fig filling. Including rich ingredients like figs (of course!), coffee, nuts, spices and raisins, these Christmas cookies simply melt in the mouth. So add these to your Christmas baking schedule and get ready for an incredible flavour experience!
An Italian Favourite
Known as ‘buccellati’ (little bracelets) in Italian, these Sicilian cookies are one of the most famous cookie varieties in Italy. Actually they are popular all over the globe these days – at least everywhere you can find dried figs. These cookies are known as ‘purciddatu’ or ‘vurciddatu’ in other dialects. Calabrese versions include ‘San Martini’ and ‘petrali’. They are known as ‘papassini’ in Sardinia.
Yummy X Fig Cookies Variations
How many households are there in Sicily? Well, there are about that many variations of X fig cookies! The joy of Christmas baking involves being creative and having fun with variations. It is hard to go wrong and anyway, you can always eat any mistakes.
Some Italians prefer to make one large ‘buccellato’ (one bracelet in Italian) ring instead of individual pieces. Arched and X shapes are popular, as well as half-moons and little logs. Why not try alphabet letters – everyone in the family can have their own cookies that way! X’s and O’s would be cute- like kisses and hugs! There are flatter, shorter versions of this cookie as well. Often the dough is slashed before baking, to make the filling visible.
Easy to Make Adaptations
The filling is also open for adaptation (which is always part of the fun of holiday baking!) Try orange marmalade instead of the jam, or how about fig jam in place of the figs? The orange rind in the dough could be switched for lime or lemon rind. Whatever citrus notes you choose to include, citrus in general just screams Christmas and holiday baking!
You might want to swap the hazelnuts for another type of nut. Pine nuts, almonds or even pistachios would work. Or you might want to use a mixture of different nuts to add more dimension to the cookie flavour.
To make these X fig cookies even more indulgent, what about adding a splash of cherry brandy, dark rum or marsala wine instead of (or as well as) the coffee? As for the cinnamon and cloves, some Sicilian home bakers also add a pinch of nutmeg or even allspice. There are so many variations of these Christmas cookies that you might never make the same version twice. So let your creative side shine!
Take Your Time with These
Make sure you allow plenty of time for these X fig cookies because they have to chill overnight. In fact, if you find yourself in a rush with all the other Christmas prep you have to do, you can even freeze the dough. Then simply thaw and continue with the recipe whenever you choose. There is quite a bit of work involved in this recipe but it’s nice to know you can break it up in this way. Do some of the prep one day then continue the next.
Biscotti X Fig Cookies – Buccellati Recipe
Biscotti X Fig Cookies – Buccellati
- In a food processor combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Mix until combined.
- Add the cold butter to the food processor and combine until the mixture is crumbly.
- Add the eggs, vanilla and orange zest to the food processor. Mix until the dough pulls away from the sides.
- Separate the dough into thirds. Make each into a rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and then place in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
- Place the filling ingredients into a food processor. Combine until it makes a paste.
- Place in a bowl, cover and place in fridge for several hours or overnight.
Making the X's
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
- Place a dough rectangle between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll out the dough to a 12 x 9" rectangle. Then cut into 3 pieces that are 3×12".
- Place the fig mixture along the center of a rectangle and enclose the mixture. Turn the log over so that the seam is on the underside. Flatten the top. Cut the 12" log in half and then again in half. You should have 4 cookies about 3" long.
- Cut a slit at the bottom and top of each cookie to make the X. Place each cookie on the parchment paper, and slightly pull apart the bottom and top half to give the X the correct shape.
- Repeat to finish all the dough and filling.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes and then move the cookies to a rack to cool completely.
- If desired, you can dust with icing sugar once cooled.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
A Festive Christmas Cookie
These X fig cookies just look so festive sprinkled with powdered sugar, and pair with anything. You might want to spend a whole day holiday baking and make a selection of delicious cookies. Nobody will know what to grab first if you have a few kinds of cookies on offer! These do take centre stage though, and will disappear surprisingly fast at a party featuring Christmas baking. One bite and you’ll be hooked!
These parchment paper sheets are perfect for baking Christmas cookies! No sticking and (hopefully) no burning, plus easy clean up.
Another good idea is to make three or four types of cookies and then box them up for gifts. Everyone loves a thoughtful homemade gift when there are cookies involved. Especially if there are Christmas cookies involved!
Let me know if there are any recipes you would like to see this holiday season. I have a lot of Christmas baking recipes from past years, too.
Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.