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+ servings

Italian Fig Cookies

Not too sweet but loaded with all the wonderful flavors of Christmas!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Italian Fig Cookies
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Rest Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 57 minutes
Servings 36 cookies
Author Ang Paris


For the dough:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the fig filling:

  • 1 cup dried diced Calimyrna or Mission figs stems removed
  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed about 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/3 cup unblanched almonds
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons dark spiced rum

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons orange juice, fresh squeezed just enough to make a glaze you can slowly drizzle
  • Sprinkles for decoration if desired


For the dough:

  • Add the flour, baking powder, sugars, and salt into a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Pulse to mix.
  • Add a little of the butter at a time, pulsing in between to combine.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and pulse until the dough forms a ball.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide in half.  Wrap each piece in plastic and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

For the filling:

  • Toast the unblanched almonds in a skillet for a couple of minutes until you smell their nuttiness.  Remove from the heat.
  • Remove any hard stems from the figs and cut into a quarters.
  • Into the food processor, add the prepared figs, pitted dates, toasted almonds, orange marmalade, golden raisins, candied orange peel, honey, dark rum and cinnamon.
  • Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
  • Roll the dough into a large rectangle and add the fig filling down the middle.
  • Roll the dough into a long log, placing it seam-side down.
  • Cut the dough into 1-1/2" pieces and place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown.
  • Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

For the glaze

  • In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the powdered sugar and orange juice. Whisk until the glaze is thickened.  If it is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.  If it is too thick, add a little more milk.
  • Brush the top of each cooled cookie with the glaze.  Add nonpareils or other sprinkles onto the top and let the glaze harden.

Tips for Storing and Making Ahead

  • Once the glaze has hardened, store the cookies in an airtight container.  Use parchment paper to layer the cookies.
  • The dough can be made a day or two ahead, if desired.  Be sure the dough is wrapped well in plastic wrap before refrigerating.
  • Finished unglazed cookies can be frozen for a couple of weeks, but the glaze should be put on after they thaw.