Our Tuesdays with Dorie baking group made X cookies by contributing baker Nick Malgieri earlier this month.
Since I had the original baking schedule in my agenda (X cookies for Oct. 15th and Danish Braid for Oct. 23rd), I was caught up by surprise when I realized that the two recipes are pushed by one week each and the last Tuesday of the month will be Make-Up Tuesday to bake any recipes that we have missed. Enough excuses and explanations… The more baking opportunities, the better :)
If you are wondering, what are X cookies, here is my quick and dirty definition – X cookies are cookies filled with spicy fig filling and shaped like X-s. They are typical Sicilian cookies and are also known as Cucidati or as Sicilian Fig Cookies, if you can’t twist your tongue to pronounce ‘cucidati’.
Let’s do a quick pronunciation exercise. Say: ku-chi-da-ti. Now, say it five times fast. Awesome! Doesn’t it sound lovely? Let me just say that your pronunciation will improve after you taste the cookies!
The dough for the cookies – pasta frolla, is rather quick and straightforward to make. The fig filling is the more intriguing part of the recipe. It is made out of dried fruits, nuts, chocolate, and spices. I started the preparation of the fig filling three days in advance when I bought the oranges and made the candied orange peel. I plumped the figs in my favorite blended green tea by Steam – Fresh Bamboo Mint.
I followed Nick Malgieri’s original recipe from Baking with Julia, however I added 1 tsp of espresso powder and ¼ tsp ground cloves to the fig filling.
Shaping the cookies is the most intriguing part and it can’t be done if you have too much caffeine in your system. Shaping and baking the cookies took me around 1.5 hours… The cookies were piling high on the cooling rack and I am not ashamed to admit that I tasted cookies from every single baking sheet that I baked. After I pulled out the last batch from the oven, I thought that these cookies will last us until Christmas…Gone in 604800 seconds!
This is a variation of the recipe – the dough and the technique are the same, the fig filling ingredients are slightly different.