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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sicilian Fig Cookies Part 1 (the fig mixture)

Fig cookies are so delicious but do take a little bit of time to make. It is a two step process that requires you to make the filling and the dough. The great thing about the filling is that this recipe makes enough to use 1/2 of it now and freeze the remaining 1/2 for later. If frozen correctly you could use it up to a year later. I use my Food Saver system. Just a side note here that I do not monetize and I get no $ for any brand name endorsements on any of my blogs. These are just the items that I use. OK, back to figs. I'll post the recipe at the end of the blog.
Step one: Toast the nuts. The beauty of this recipe is that you can use any kind of nuts you like. This year I used pecans
and almonds. Do not leave your nuts unattended (how many times can you say that publically?)! They go from being toasted to burnt in one minute. You know your done toasting when you can smell the nuts as they render their oils and turn slightly darker in color
Dried Figs
Cut 4 lbs of Kalamata dried figs into quarters. But first you need to remove the hard stems. Stop laughing at my poor little cutting board. I swear I only use it for fruits & veggies. I keep forgeting to get a new one.

Place all of them in a large bowl
Cover them with warm water. Let them sit for about 4 hours or until soft.

Put the raisins in warm water too. Notice the recipe will call for dark raisins. I had some golden ones that I wanted to use up so I threw them in too.

Chopped dried dates
The spices
The chopped Citron fruit (these are dried citrus rind & cherries)
Pineapple preserves. The recipe says one to two jars but I only use one large jar. Why I buy two each time I make this recipe is a mystery!
The yummy secret ingredient (optional, It only gets baked so I'm not sure if it gets cooked off but each cookie will only have a smidgen) Holla to all my Canadian peeps!

Just a shot of the counter top. There is honey used too.

My Mom and sister use to grind this using a rotary style grinder. It's probably why they had such beautiful arms. I on the other hand use the meat grinder attachment on my Kitchen Aid. Well, because I'm lazy and I don't have 3 days to grind all this stuff! Yeah, I know my arms are not so beautiful!!
I keep it all flowing by adding the honey and preservatives with the nuts. I also alternate the ingredients so that nothing gets stuck. The figs and raisins are moist so I usually put them in after each nut batch. Add the spices, whiskey & mix. This smells fabulous! The mixture will be sticky but not runny.
Put 1/2 in the refrigerator in a plastic Tupperware type container and freeze the other 1/2. See you in part 2.
My Wonderful sister Rosetta's Sicilian Fig Mixture Recipe
4 lbs figs
1 lb dates
1 lb raisins (dark)
1 lb toasted nuts
1 lb Citron fruit
1 to 2 jars pineapple preserve (I use one large)
1 cup honey
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup Whiskey

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