Jenny Denicola’s Italian Fig Cookies

Makes about 200 to 250 cookies. Recipe, provided by Rosie Moak, is from Jenny Denicola.

For dough:

9 eggs

1 lb. shortening

11/2 cups sugar

21⁄3 cups milk

2 tbls. vanilla

5 lbs. all-purpose flour

91/2 tsps. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

Fig filling:

5 (14-oz.) pkgs. dry figs

1 (12-oz.) box golden raisins

3 cups chopped pecans

Peel from 3 oranges, grated, or soak raisins in orange juice overnight

1 qt. fig preserves

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. black pepper

1. Make dough: Beat eggs and set aside. In a large bowl, cream together shortening and sugar; add beaten eggs, milk and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the egg-sugar mixture; mix well.

2. To make fig filling: Cut off stems of figs then grind all filling ingredients together in a meat grinder or food processor. Mix well.

3. Divide dough into small sections. Roll dough out to 1⁄8-inch thickness and into a strip that is about 12 inches long and 31/2 to 4 inches wide. Roll pieces of fig filling out to the size of your little finger. Place filling in the center of rolled-out dough. Lap dough over filling and roll to close, gently sealing the seam. Cut into desired length.

4. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 12 minutes. Cool and ice with a thin mixture of powdered sugar, water or milk, and food coloring, if desired. Allow cookies to dry before placing in containers.

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