St. Joseph's Fig Cookies

"A Sicilian cookie, traditionally made for St. Joseph's Day (Mar 19). St. Joseph is the patron saint of cabinetmakers, engineers, Canada and confectioners. Adapted from John Besh's _My New Orleans_ and posted by Caroline Russock at Serious Eats."
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Ready In:
24 cookies




  • Filling: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the sherry and orange juice just to the boil. Meanwhile, combine the figs, raisins, walnuts, honey, cinnamon and lemon zest in a food processor, and pulse until the nuts are finely chopped. Add the hot liquid through the feed tube and pulse into a paste. Transfer to a pastry bag with a medium round tip, or to a bowl, cover and set aside.
  • Dough: Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry cutter, or two knives, cut in the butter until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in the egg and milk, stirring until well combined.
  • Divide the dough into two pieces. Roll each piece out into a strip about 4" wide and 1/8" thick (or pass dough through a pasta roller until the same size is achieved); each strip should be 6-8" long. Cut each strip in half lengthwise, to yield 4 2" strips.
  • Assembly: Preheat oven to 350°F Spoon or pipe the filling down the center of each strip. Moisten each strip of dough, on either side of the filling, with water, then roll over to enclose filling. Gently press the seam to seal, then roll seam-side-down. Cut logs on an angle into 1" pieces. Place cookies on non-stick cookie sheets (or line regular sheets with Silpat) at least 1/2" apart. Bake 15-20 minutes, until pale golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  • Icing: Whisk together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Dip tops of cooled cookies in icing, then top with sprinkles.

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I'm a 48 y/o gay Jewish man in the suburbs immediately north of New York City. I'm a general internist, practicing and teaching at a medical college north of NYC. I also earned a Masters in Public Health degree in 2013. After a Walt Disney World trip in Dec 2006 where I had to rent an electric scooter because I couldn't manage the walking, I decided to have gastric bypass surgery, which was done Feb 28, 2007. I lost 160 lbs (though I've gained back about 60 of that since). I can't eat as much as I used to, so I want every bite to be extra good!
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