Make Italian fig cookies by enclosing a homemade fig and nut filling in dough pieces. You need dried figs, dried dates, raisins, almonds and walnuts for the filling and flour, sugar, eggs, milk and butter for the cookie dough.
Make the fig filling by blending together 2 cups of dried figs, 1 1/2 cups of dried pitted dates, 1 cup of raisins, 3/4 cup of toasted and coarsely chopped almonds, and 3/4 cup of toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts until they form a fine paste. Stir in 1/2 cup each of orange marmalade and honey; 1/4 cup of brandy; 1 teaspoon each of finely grated fresh orange zest, fresh lemon zest and ground cinnamon; 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg; and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves.
To make the cookie covering, whisk together 4 cups of all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Rub in 1 cup of chopped butter. In another bowl, combine 1 large egg, 1/2 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of vanilla, and pour it into the flour mixture. Once the dough is combined, divide it into four pieces, and chill it covered for 45 minutes.
Roll the dough pieces into squares, cut each square into three rectangles, and spoon the filling on top. Pinch the dough pieces edges together, and cut each one into 1 1/2-inch pieces. After brushing the cookies with 1 egg combined with 1 tablespoon of water and adding colored sprinkles, bake them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.