Italian Fig Cookies: A Sweet Tradition

The Italian-American Page Team

Platter of Italian Fig Cookies

In the heart of Italian cuisine lies a sweet tradition that marries the lush, velvety taste of figs with the rustic charm of homemade cookies. Fig cookies, or “Cucidati,” are more than just a treat; they are a narrative of Italian culture, a testament to the love affair between Italians and their beloved figs.

This relationship dates back centuries, with Italy’s sun-drenched soil providing the perfect terroir for fig trees to flourish. Figs, with their honeyed sweetness and soft, chewy texture, have become a staple in Italian kitchens, finding their way into a myriad of dishes that span the spectrum from savory to sweet.

The fig cookie, with its rich filling encased in a tender, golden crust, is a celebration of this enduring bond. It’s a traditional holiday favorite, often prepared for Christmas, but its irresistible allure makes it a cherished treat year-round. The process of making fig cookies is a labor of love, a ritual that brings families together in the kitchen to create something truly special. Check out these grain-free and low-carb dessert recipes if you’re looking for healthier dessert recipes.

Recipe: Italian Fig Cookies (Cucidati)


For the Dough:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Filling:

  • 1 lb dried figs, stems removed
  • ½ cup almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup orange marmalade
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup dark rum or orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles for decoration (optional)


Prepare the Filling:

  • In a food processor, combine the dried figs, toasted almonds, orange marmalade, honey, cinnamon, rum (or orange juice), and orange zest. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped and comes together. Set aside.

Make the Dough:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the cubed butter and use a pastry blender (or your fingers) to incorporate the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • In a small bowl, beat the eggs with milk and vanilla extract. Add this to the flour mixture, stirring until a dough forms. Knead briefly on a floured surface, then wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Assemble the Cookies:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thickness. Cut into strips about 2 inches wide. Place a line of filling down the center of each strip.
  • Fold the dough over the filling and press to seal. Cut into 1½ inch pieces and place seam-side down on the prepared baking sheets.


  • Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly golden. Allow to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth. Brush over the cooled cookies and top with sprinkles if desired.


Italian Fig Cookies are more than just a delicious confection; they are a bridge to the past, a way to connect with generations of Italian tradition. Making these cookies is not just about following a recipe; it’s about embracing the Italian way of life, where food is an expression of love, and traditions are preserved with every bite. Whether you’re of Italian heritage or simply a lover of Italian cuisine, these fig cookies are sure to bring a touch of sweetness into your life. So, gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and prepare to embark on a culinary journey that celebrates the timeless bond between figs and Italian culture. Buon appetito!