When I learned how to make Italian fig cookies, it was because of my mom; she loved figs, especially fig bars. Because of the abundance of figs grown in Italy so many recipes are made with them. I learned how to make Italian fig cookies and all kinds of desserts with figs. Even simple stewed figs are very popular at holiday time, as well as any time of the year.
I never knew of figs being grown here in the United States until more recent years. Depending on the location here, I have heard different stories about the ease or difficulty of growing them. In Florida most have told me that before they ripen, the birds would eat the figs. They have tried covering the tree with netting resulting in some success.
I would love learn how to make these Italian fig cookies and my other fig recipes with fresh figs, but they are never available fresh in the markets. I now have a beautiful small fig tree growing in Tennessee; the climate should be temperate enough so I will see how it does. I can’t wait to pick my own fresh figs!
The seeds of the figs fill almost the entire fruit but are very tender like the flesh so they can also be eaten. There are basically two kinds of figs; a yellow green one and a purple black one. My fig tree is the yellow green type. The qualities of both are alike; white flesh with pink center, dry, slightly sticky and sweet but nutty in taste. Softness is a sign of maturity in figs; soft but not mushy. Fresh figs should be eaten within one day of picking because they perish quickly. They can be eaten with the skins on or peeled.
HOW TO PEEL FIGS: For many of your Italian desserts you will need to peel the figs. With sharp knife cut off the stem of the fig. Nick the skin at the stem end, grasp a corner of the skin between your thumb and the knife and pull a strip of the skin away from the flesh. Peel the rest of the fruit in the same way.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Instructions for fig cookies filling:
In a heavy skillet, toast the walnuts and almonds over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Stir in figs, wine, sugar, honey and orange peel. Cook until it is a dry paste. Spoon into a bowl; cover and chill.
Instructions for dough:
butter, whole egg plus yolk, vanilla and sugar until creamy. Add the
flour, salt and lemon peel. Mix until blended and chill for 1 hour.
Roll half of dough to 13x7 inches. Spoon half of filling down the center of the dough, leaving 1 inch at the top and 1 inch at the bottom. Fold side over and pinch to seal edges. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet. Repeat process with the remaining half of dough and filling. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cut diagonally into 1 inch slices. Cool and sift lightly with powdered sugar.
If you want to make Italian fig cookies, try this recipe; it taste like the Fig Newtons.
Beat butter and sour cream in mixing bowl until light; gradually add brown sugar beating until light.
Add eggs one at a time beating after each; beat in vanilla.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Gradually add and blend with creamed mixture.
Divide dough into 3 equal parts, wrap each part in lightly floured plastic wrap, refrigerate 2 hours.
Combine figs and water in heavy saucepan; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until figs are soft.
Add sugar, lemon peel and salt; simmer covered another 15 minutes.
Press mixture through coarse disk of food mill; cool.
Assemble Italian Fig Cookies:
Roll one piece of dough on lightly floured surface to 5 X 11 rectangle.
Spread with 1/3 of filling along one side of dough covering area of 2 inches wide 10 inches long; leave ½ inch margin.
Pile the filling slightly along the length, then moisten the exposed margins with water.
Gently lift the uncovered dough with spatula and fold over the filling.
Press it down, trim edges and shape the roll into a neat half cylinder (2 ½ X 11)
Repeat process with remaining dough and filling.
Bake in preheated oven at 350F degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool bars on rack then with sharp serrated knife trim ends off and cut into slices; cool completely.
These might be considered like a fried fritter but to me they are a delicious Italian fig cookie. Whatever you want to call them, they make a great special recipe for Christmas Eve.
Soak figs in rum for 1 hour turning them often.
In shallow bowl slowly stir water into flour; beat batter until smooth and creamy.
Heat oil in heavy skillet or pan about ½ inch deep.
When oil is very hot but not smoking dip figs one at a time into batter then into the hot oil.
Fry figs on all sides until golden brown; drain on paper towels.
Serve while hot; if desired dust with powdered sugar.
This Italian fig cookie can be made all year long using dried figs.
Combine flour, salt and soda; blend together and set aside.
In a large bowl cream butter and sugar; beat in eggs until light.
Add flour mixture to creamed mixture; blend well.
Shape dough in rolls about 1 ½ to 2 inches round and 6 to 8 inches long.
Wrap in plastic wrap, wax paper or foil; refrigerate at least 3 hours
Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan; bring to boil stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to medium and cook until it begins to thicken (1 to 2 minutes).
Set off heat and cool completely before using; makes about 2 ½ cups.
TO ASSEMBLE COOKIES PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees.
Unwrap each roll of dough; cut in half lengthwise.
On lightly floured surface roll each half into 8X3 inch rectangle about ¼ inch thick.
Spoon half of filling onto 1 rectangle to with ½ of the edges.
With spatula lift another rectangle and place of top of filling
With fingers press around edges to seal making ½ inch border.
Trim edges with sharp knife to make even; cut crosswise to make bars.
Place bars on ½ inch apart ungreased baking sheets.
Bake about 12 minutes until light brown; place on wire rack and cool completely.
You can turn many of your cookie recipes into great Italian fig cookies with this delicious filling. Simply substitute this filling in other filled cookies or filled bars.
Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan.
Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat.
Cook stirring constantly for 15 minutes; set off to cool.
Makes about 2 ½ cups; use for cookies, cakes and in yeast rolls.
Make this tasty Italian fig cookie made with almond and cinnamon.
Preheat oven to 300F degrees.
Place the flour in a heavy skillet over low heat.
Cook and stir occasionally for 7 minutes.
NOTE: Do not let flour brown; this will give flour a nutty flavor.
Cool flour and transfer to a mixing bowl; blend in almonds, sugar, salt and cinnamon.
Work in shortening and egg with hands until dough forms.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets.
Press center of each cookie with your index finger.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown; cool.
Fill indentation with fig jam; dust with powdered sugar.
Try this Italian fig cookies with a vanilla glaze.
Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
Combine and sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
Cream butter, sugar, honey and lemon juice; thoroughly mix in dry ingredients.
Divide dough in half; roll out on lightly floured WAX PAPER to 15X8 inch rectangle.
Cut rectangle into four 15X2 inch strips; place 1 tablespoon filling down the center of OUTSIDE STRIP.
Fold dough over the filling using wax paper to lift; seal edge.
Cut into 3 inch strips; roll each slightly to round out edges.
Place seam side down on ungreased cookie sheet; repeat with remaining strips.
Bake for 9 to 12 minutes until lightly browned; place on wire rack to cool.
Spoon glaze over warm cookies; cool completely.
COMBINE and blend all ingredients
COMBINE and blend adding enough hot water for glaze consistency.
TO MAKE DOUGH combine and mix shortening, sugar and eggs.
Combine flour, soda and salt; blend dry ingredients into shortening mixture.
Mix dough until smooth; wrap in plastic wrap and chill 2 hours.
TO MAKE FILLING combine figs, sugar and water in saucepan.
Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened; set aside to cool.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 400F degrees.
Roll dough to 1/16 inch thickness on floured surface.
Cut into circles 2 ½ inches in diameter allowing 2 for each cookie.
Place 1 round on greased baking sheet; spread with 1 rounded teaspoonful of filling.
Place another round on top of filling; press edges together with floured fork.
Repeat with all dough and filling; bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown.
Cool on rack; makes 4 ½ dozen.
Make Italian fig cookies with almonds.
TO MAKE DOUGH combine flour, sugar and salt in large bowl.
With pastry cutter cut in butter to a coarse meal.
Stir in egg, egg yolk, vanilla and lemon peel.
Knead on lightly floured surface until dough comes together.
Shape into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
TO MAKE FILLING combine figs, almonds and raisins in saucepan.
Add zest, honey, sugar and juice to saucepan; stir to blend.
Cook and stir over medium low heat until a paste forms about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in chocolate.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350f Degrees; grease baking sheet.
On floured surface roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness; cut in 3 inch wide strips.
Gently roll pieces of fig mixture into ½ inch diameter same length as the strips.
Place fig roll down center of dough strip; roll dough around fig filling.
Cut into 1 ¾ inch pieces; place seam side down on prepared tray 1 ½ inches apart.
TO GLAZE combine egg and water and brush over cookies.
Bake until browned about 20 minutes.