Italian Fig Christmas Cookies – Cucidati

Step aside, fig newtons – there’s a new fig cookie in town! These delectable little bites are one of the most special Christmas cookies ever. Ohhh yes – they really are that good! Boasting a crumbly dough encasing a sweet fig filling as well as beautiful frosting on top, what more could anyone want from a cookie? The combination of flavours and textures in these Italian fig Christmas cookies, also known as Cucidati, makes them a wonderful choice to include in your Christmas baking or holiday baking schedule this year.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies or cucidati. This fig cookie recipe is a holiday tradition!

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This fig cookie recipe with notes of citrus is a holiday favourite. They are traditional Italian cookies made mainly at Christmas time and a classic family recipe. They are the perfect cookies for holiday parties, cookie trays and a cookie exchange.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies or cucidati. This fig cookie recipe is a holiday tradition!

You’ll see there are more ingredients in this fig cookies recipe than some of our other holiday baking ideas. If you don’t mind a little extra time in the kitchen though, these are extra-special and well worth the effort! The dough needs a 3-hour chilling time so you might prefer to begin this recipe the day before, then finish it the following day.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies or cucidati. This fig cookie recipe is a holiday tradition!

An Italian Christmas Tradition

Known as cucidati in Italian (or cucciddati), these little fig cookie treats offer citrus flavours and a spiced filling inside a sugar cookie dough. Other names for them include Sicilian fig cookies and fig Christmas cookies. The word ‘cucidaci’ means little bracelets, and refers to the shape of the dough before you cut it into individual cookies.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies or cucidati. This fig cookie recipe is a holiday tradition!

The fig filling for this Christmas cookie typically has spiced dark rum or Grand Marnier or a similar liqueur. Some bakers prefer to use a splash of their favourite whisky or even marsala wine. However, if you don’t want to use alcohol in the fig mixture, you can omit this ingredient. Just add another two tablespoons of orange juice, orange zest or lemon zest to make up for it. This Italian fig cookies recipe is very adaptable.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies or cucidati. This fig cookie recipe is a holiday tradition!

The fig Christmas cookies are baked in strips then sliced into individual pieces. After they are completely cool, they are drizzled with a citrus glaze and pretty sprinkles. These Christmas cookies freeze well and they are also sturdy enough to travel, if you are bringing sweet treats to a Christmas party.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies or cucidati. This fig cookie recipe is a holiday tradition!

However, don’t pack them into tins or an airtight container until the frosting is completely hardened between wax paper layers! That’s important! Otherwise the frosting will get messed up! In fact, many people don’t frost these until just before serving. So if you are serving these Christmas cookies at home, you might want to do it that way.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies or cucidati. This fig cookie recipe is a holiday tradition!

Figs: The Star of the Show

Figs are not a fruit. Really, they aren’t! They’re actually an inverted flower which blooms inside the pod. They are naturally sweet and can be used in various recipes, both sweet and savoury.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies or cucidati. This fig cookie recipe is a holiday tradition!

Figs might not be ‘juicy’ exactly, but they really are luscious. Originally cultivated in Asia, figs are now grown around the world. And perfect for holiday baking recipes!

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies or cucidati. This fig cookie recipe is a holiday tradition!

They come in green, white, black and red varieties. They can be shaped like squat pears or oval. Figs have a thin skin enclosing hundreds of little seeds (which are actually fruit themselves) as well as the sweet flesh. Fresh figs are quite delicate and don’t keep so long, while the dried version is available year-round. And perfect to incorporate in Christmas baking!

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies/ This fig cookie recipe are favourite traditional Italian cookies.

How To Make Fig Cookies

The dough needs to be chilled for at least 3 hours, so make it first and place in the refrigerator in plastic wrap.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies/ This fig cookie recipe are favourite traditional Italian cookies.

Next take the fig filling ingredients and combine the figs, dates, orange juice, candied orange peel, sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon. The almonds and the dark rum are added in next. The figs and dates should be chopped using a sharp knife or you can even roughly grind figs in a food processor.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies/ This fig cookie recipe are favourite traditional Italian cookies.

To assemble, let the dough sit at room temperature and then roll out the dough into a rectangle and place filling down the center of each strip of dough. Use parchment paper to assist with folding the dough and then transfer to a prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Bake the cookies until lightly golden browned. You should remove from the oven and immediately slice each strip into pieces. Cool on a wire rack completely before adding icing on top.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies/ This fig cookie recipe are favourite traditional Italian cookies.

Which Type of Figs to Choose

For this Christmas cookies recipe, choose dried Calimyrna or Mission figs for the best result. Calimyrna figs are nutty and delicate, and a golden color when dried. Originally grown in Turkey, this fig was called the Smyrna fig after the Turkish city. Later on, Californian fig growers changed the name to Calimyrna and it seems to have stuck!

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies/ This fig cookie recipe are favourite traditional Italian cookies.

As for Mission figs, these are a darker color. Their name comes from the Franciscan missionaries who would plant them in California in the late 1700s. Either of these varieties would be perfect for these fig cookies.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies/ This fig cookie recipe are favourite traditional Italian cookies.

Finish with Festive Sprinkles

These fig Christmas cookies aren’t always decorated with sprinkles. Sometimes they just have the frosting. However, they do look more festive with sprinkles added! Don’t you agree?

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies/ This fig cookie recipe are favourite traditional Italian cookies.

Choose from red and green, for a typical Christmas theme, or any colors you want. As you can see, there is a lot going on with these cookies, from the juicy filling to the crust and frosting. So why not add those sprinkles too?

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies/ This fig cookie recipe are favourite traditional Italian cookies.

There is no such thing as going overboard with Christmas cookies! And that’s part of the fun of holiday baking! You might want to let the kiddos ‘help’ adding the sprinkles! Fig Christmas recipes are sure to be a hit with the whole family.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies/ This fig cookie recipe are favourite traditional Italian cookies.

These Christmas fig cookies are pretty enough to make a gorgeous centerpiece on your holiday table. And the kitchen will smell heavenly for a few hours after making these holiday cookies! These Italian Christmas cookies are pretty rich, so a serving size probably ought to be just the one. This cucidati Italian fig cookie recipe is rather more-ish though, and nobody is counting if you have two or even three!

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies/ This fig cookie recipe are favourite traditional Italian cookies.

There are many possible variations of these classic Italian fig cookies. Some cookie recipes use all figs, while others like mine will combine in dates, dried fruit or even raisins. You will find some recipes will add in fresh orange juice or lemon. Orange marmalade or apricot jam are also a popular addition. Nuts and chocolate are also possible variations. No matter how you make it, this fig cookie is delicious!

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies/ This fig cookie recipe are favourite traditional Italian cookies.

Fig Christmas Cookies Recipe

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Italian fig Christmas cookies or cucidati. This fig cookie recipe is a holiday tradition!

Italian Fig Christmas Cookies

5 from 6 votes
Course: Sweets
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Christmas, Cookies
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Refrigerate: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 52 minutes
Servings: 28 cookies
Calories: 102kcal
Author: Bella Bucchiotti
These delectable little bites are one of the most special Italian Christmas cookies ever. They have a crumbly dough encasing a sweet fig filling as well as beautiful frosting on top. These Italian fig Christmas cookies, also known as Cucidati, are wonderful!
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Ingredients

Dough

Filling

  • 1 Cup figs dried, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup dates chopped
  • 1/2 Cup orange juice fresh squeezed
  • 1/3 Cup candied orange peel
  • 2 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 Cup almonds blanched, chopped fine
  • 2 Tablespoon dark rum or Grand Marnier

Icing

Instructions

Dough

  • Place the butter to a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Add the sugar, brown sugar and baking soda. Mix again until it is all combined.
  • Add the egg and vanilla to the mixture and combine, scraping sides if needed.
  • On slow speed, slowly add the flour in three to four additions.
  • Divide the dough in half and form each half into a rectangle. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Filling

  • In a saucepan, combine the figs, dates, orange juice, candied orange peel, sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes until the mixture is thick.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the almonds and the rum. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap once cooled if not making cookies right away.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare baking sheets and set aside.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit for about 15 minutes to soften.
  • Place a piece parchment paper on your work surface and then lightly dust it with flour.
  • Roll one piece of the dough to 10×8 inches. Cut each rectangle into two 10×4 inch strips. Put 1/4 of the filling down the center of each strip. Use the parchment paper to bring one long side of the dough up and over the filling. Repeat with the opposite side forming a log that encloses the filling. The dough should overlap slightly on top of the filling. Gently seal the edges using a bit of water if needed.
  • Transfer the filled fig logs to the prepared baking sheet placing them seam side down Bake for 12 minutes or until light brown.
  • Remove from the oven. Slice each log into 1 inch pieces. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Icing

  • Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  • Drizzle on each cookie. Top with sprinkles if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 102kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 36IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
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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.

Let me know if you try to make these fig Christmas cookies this season. This fig cookie recipe is a great addition to your holiday baking. I am sure that these Italian Christmas fig cookies are a holiday tradition you will love. They are one of my favourite Italian cookie recipes.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, 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.

Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.

Welcome to xoxoBella! I am Bella Bucchiotti and I am a recipe developer, content creator and writer. Here you will find delicious recipes, travel inspiration, crafts, pet tips and more.

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Recipe Rating




  1. jenna wrote:

    Oooh yes, how fun! I love trying new recipes with figs 🙂 Perfect for the holidays

    Posted 11.16.20 Reply
  2. Amber Myers wrote:

    Yum, these look delicious. I haven’t had cookies like this, so I’m excited to try them.

    Posted 11.16.20 Reply
  3. Heather wrote:

    Wow! These fig cookies look so good! They are perfect for the holidays.

    Posted 11.16.20 Reply
  4. 5 stars
    Love fig!! Like a healthier chocolate no? HA! These look amazing, thank you for the inspiration!!

    Posted 11.17.20 Reply
  5. Darlene wrote:

    Can I use fresh figs in this?

    Posted 10.13.22 Reply
    • Bella wrote:

      I have not tried with this recipe. It may work but I can’t confirm based on a trail.

      Posted 10.13.22 Reply
  6. Beau Sr. wrote:

    5 stars
    Like an elevated version of fig Newtons! Love them

    Posted 10.24.23 Reply