Prep 20 mins
Cook 14 mins
This popular cookie recipe has been modified so both filling and cookie can be made in a food processor..Traditionally these are decorated with drizzles of pink, white and green icing to symbolize the Italian flag. as well as a shower or confetti sprinkles..
- 2 cups trimmed and coarsely chopped dried figs
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pitted dates
- 1⁄2 cup orange marmalade
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 3 tablespoons orange juice, plus more if needed
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 cups all-purpose white flour
- 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup white vegetable shortening, cut into chunks
- 1 1⁄4 cups powdered sugar, sifted after measuring if lumpy
- 3 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed
- 1⁄4 teaspoon anise extract or 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 drop liquid green food coloring
- 1 drop red food coloring
- multicolored multicolored sugar nonpareils, for topping
- In a food processor, combine the figs, dates, marmalade, orange zest, 3 tbls orange juice, butter and cinnamon.
- Process until coarsely pureed, about 1 minute. If the mixture begins to clump, stop and redistribute the contents as necessary.
- If the mixture seems dry, add about 1 tbls more orange juice.)the filling may be refrigerated for up to 4 days; let come to room temperature and stir before using.
- In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder,and salt.Process on/off pulses until well blended.
- Drop spoonfuls of the shortening over the flour and process is on/off pulses until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Sprinkle 1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture and process in on/off pulses just until evenly incorporated, do not overprocess. Working on a sheet of wax paper, knead until smooth, slightly moist but not wet dough forms. If the dough is too dry or crumbly to hold together easily, sprinkle on a little more water, 1-2 tsps at a time and continue kneading. divide the dough in half.
- Place each portion between large sheets of wax paper.Roll out each portion into a 12" square, check the underside of the dough and smooth any wrinkles that form.
- Cut and patch the dough as necessary to even the dough sides.
- Stack the rolled dough portions (paper still attached) on a baking sheet.
- Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or until chilled and firm.
- Preheat the oven to 375*.set out several baking sheets.
- Working with one portion of dough at a time and leaving remaining dough chilled, gently peel away, then lightly pat one sheet of wax paper into place.
- Flip the dough over, then peel off and discard wax paper. Using a large sharp knife, cut the dough crosswise into 4 3x12" strips.
- Spoon about 1/4 cup filling down the length of each strip -- keeping the filling in the middle third of the strip.
- Fold the sides of each strip over the filling so they overlap slightly.
- Moisten the edges where the fold-over portions meet, then press down on the seam to seal. Trim off and discard the uneven ends of each strip. cut each strip crosswise at 2" intervals to form the cookies. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to the baking sheets, seam side down. spacing about 2" apart. If desired cut two parallel 1" slits down the length of each cookie top so that filling shows through. Slightly bend each cookie into a crescent shape. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, reversing halfway through baking, from front to back to ensure even browning.
- Bake 14-19 minutes or until browned on the bottoms and slightly darker at the edges.
- Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let stand until the cookies firm up slightly -- 1-2 minutes.
- Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks. Let stand until completely cooled.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, milk, and anise or vanilla to form a fluid icing.If necessary, then it with a little more milk.
- Transfer one third of icing to a small bowl and stir in green food coloring.
- Transfer another third to another small bowl and stir in red food coloring.Set the racks with the cookies over a sheet of wax paper to catch drips.
- Using a spoon drizzle a line of the pink icing crosswise over the cookies.
- Immediatley top with some nonpareils before the icing sets.
- Keeping the colors seperated so they don't run together, neatly drizzle lines of the green and white icing over the cookies, and then sprinkle with nonpareils before that icing sets.
- Let stand until icing is completely dry -- at least 1 hour.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.
These were lovely! I halved the recipe and substituted candied peel for the zest, Cointreau for the juice (no fresh oranges around today), then used butter instead of vegetable shortening because that's what I had. Usually my attempts at pastry are dismal but this recipe survived my pastry curse and turned out really well! When I make this again, I'll probably up the orange flavour by adding some zest to the dough too - yum...