Italian Christmas Delicacy: Buccellato from Sicily

Sicilian sweet with dried figs and pastry on the Christmas table— Photo by al1962

Sicilian sweet with dried figs and pastry on the Christmas table— Photo by al1962

This typical delicacy from Sicily is called in the local dialect Cuccidati. It is a fig-stuffed cookie traditionally served during Christmas holidays. According to some, its origin goes back to centuries, and the dough is renowned for its softness. This particular fragrant and sweet pastry is baked in the oven and could be enjoyed for several days.

Ingredients:

2 cups raisins, 3/4 pound pitted dates, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 small navel oranges, peeled and quartered, 1/3 pound dried figs, 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup water.

Dough:

1 cup shortening, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup 2% milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 3 and half cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder,1 teaspoon baking soda.

Glaze:

2 cups confectioners' sugar, 2 to 3 tablespoons 2% milk

Directions:

Place the first seven ingredients in a food processor; cover and process until finely chopped. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough into four portions; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll out each portion between two sheets of waxed paper into a 16-in. x 6-in. rectangle. Spread 1 cup filling lengthwise down the center of each. Starting at a long side, fold dough over filling; fold the other side over the top. Pinch seams and edges to seal. Cut each rectangle diagonally into 1-in strips. Place seam side down on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 10-14 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Combine confectioners' sugar and enough milk to achieve desired consistency; drizzle over cookies. Store in an airtight container.

 

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