Savoring the Past: Baking Italian Easter Cookies with Grandma

Savoring the Past Baking Italian Easter Cookies with Grandma

A Traditional Sicilian Cucidati Biscotti Recipe Straight from the Heart of Sicily

Easter has always been a special time for my family and me. One of my favorite memories is when my grandmother came to visit us for Easter. She would stay with us for a few days, and on the first night, we would always bake together. Our family’s favorite Italian Easter cookies are Cucidati, a traditional Sicilian cookie.

Watching my grandmother put together the filling for the Cucidati was always a treat. She would combine dried figs, walnuts, bittersweet chocolate, anise, and real orange zest, creating a mixture that was both exotic and delicious. And, of course, she would feed me a spoonful when she was done mixing it. It was like a flavor explosion in my mouth, and I still remember the taste.

fig biscotti

In honor of my grandmother’s memory, we recreated her famous Cucidati recipe in a different form here at The Biscotti Company. We turned it into a Fig, Walnut & Chocolate Biscotti, which is just as delicious as the original. But before we get into the recipe, let me tell you more about our Easter baking sessions at my house.

The heavenly aroma of easter cookies filled the house. My mother would be in charge of prepping the ingredients, while my grandmother and I would work on the filling and the dough. We’d roll out the dough, carefully fill each cookie, and bake them, while I listened to my mother and grandmother chat and tell stories as we worked all day.

My grandmother always insisted on using the best ingredients. In Italian, she often said, “quando si mangia si mange bene.” Which means when you eat, eat well.

Then on Easter morning, we would wake up early to find easter chocolate on the table. We’d open it up, nibble on chocolate and cookies, and sip milk while enjoying the morning sunshine and listening to my parents and grandmother reminisce over past experiences. It was a special time filled with love, laughter, and delicious cookies.

Now that my grandmother has passed away, baking Italian Easter cookies has become a tradition that I hold dear to my heart. It reminds me of the special bond I shared with my grandmother and the memories we created together in the kitchen.

Now, if you’re feeling inspired to make some Italian Easter cookies of your own, I’ve got just the recipe for you. This is my grandmother’s famous Cucidati recipe, straight from the heart of Sicily:

Fig Biscotti Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 whole milk
1 cup dried figs, finely chopped
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons anise extract
1 tablespoon grated orange zest

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350ยฐF.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add the cold butter and mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and milk, and mix until a dough forms.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, combine the chopped figs, walnuts, chocolate chips, anise extract, and orange zest.
  • Mix the filling ingredients together until well combined.
  • Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Spread the filling mixture evenly over the dough.
  • Roll the dough up tightly, starting at one of the long edges.
  • Cut the rolled dough into 1-inch slices.
  • Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack before serving.

I hope you enjoy making and savoring these delicious Italian Easter cookies as much as we do. Happy Easter!

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