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Italian Fig Cookies


Soft and chewy fig filling on the inside, crunchy and flaky on the outside, these authentic Italian cookies make the holidays very special.

Rate this recipe 3/5 (9 Votes)
Italian Fig Cookies 3 Pictures


  • DOUGH:
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup 2% or whole milk
  • 4 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dried figs
  • 1 cup dried chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup prepared orange marmalade
  • GLAZE:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons 2% or whole milk
  • 1/3 cup mulit colored sprinkles


Servings 40
Level of difficulty Average
Preparation time 45mins
Cooking time 15mins
Cost Average budget


Step 1

Italian Fig Cookies - Step 1

To make the dough, in a bowl of an electric mixer, add the shortening, egg, vanilla and milk. Mix on medium high until creamy, 1-2 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar to combine and add to the egg mixture in mixer bowl gradually, beating on low, until all ingredients are combine well.
Form dough into a ball and cut into 4 equal portions. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

For the filling, while the dough refrigerates, place figs, dates, walnuts and raisins in a food processor and pulse approximately 8-10 times until a coarse chop, being careful not to over process-you want pieces of fruit and nut to be visible.
Transfer to a large bowl and add the honey, marmalade and cinnamon, mix well. Let set at room temperature, covered, until dough is fully chilled.

15 minutes before dough is fully chilled, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Make glaze by mixing powdered sugar and milk in a medium bowl with a fork or small whisk until smooth. Glaze should be thin enough to spoon over cookies but not too thin.

Step 2

Italian Fig Cookies - Step 2

To make the cookies, remove 1 of the portions of dough from the refrigerator and roll into a 12 inch by 12 inch square. Using pizza cutter, cut into 2 inch by 3 inch rrectangles.

Spoon 1 teaspoon filling in middle of rectangle and wrap dough around filling, leaving both ends open, pressing dough to seal. Place cookie on baking sheet seam-side down. Make two small diagonal slits with a paring knife on top. Repeat with remaining dough until baking sheet is full, leaving 2 inches between cookies.
Bake 12-14 minutes, until barely golden on top.

Repeat with remaining dough and filling until all is used up.

Remove cookies to cooling rack to cool for 10 minutes. Spoon glaze over top of each cookie and immediately sprinkle with traditional multi colored sprinkles.

Let cool completely and store in a tightly covered container room temperature for up to 2 weeks.


These are a little time-consuming to make, but you will find that they are a fun family recipe to make together. I have made the filling very easy, as compared to other filings, and the dough is a lighter and flakier than most recipes. You can feel free to flavor the glaze with vanilla or almond extracts, but the traditional Italian cookie recipe is made with sugar and milk only. Multi colored sprinkles are traditionally used, and the ones I use are called "jimmies," or the round multi colored ones.

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