December 8th, 2005

On ur island

Cucidati (Sicilian Christmas cookies filled with figs, dates, and nuts)


EDIT 28-11-2006: Made these again for Thanksgiving. The one major change was in the assembly, which apparently was not done properly for the batch below (but I'd only seen them once or twice before making up this recipe, so pls to not kick me too hard). A corrected version, in bold, has just been added to the appropriate section in this entry. I think you'll actually end up with more cookies and a much better filling-to-dough ratio this way.

Also, I toyed around with a few other things just for fun, so any bold-text additions to the ingredients lists are this year's alterations.

Oh goodness me. My grandma and mom made these one year and told me, "No, you can't have any, you won't like them." When I finally tried one anyway, I realized they'd told me that to keep me purposely ignorant of the joy of fig cookies (more for them). After I-don't-know-how-long without a cucidati, and still a whole week and a half before I get to go home and make these, it became too much and I whipped up my first batch tonight.

Oh yes indeed.

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  • misfit

Fruitcake- why do the centers collapse?

When I take my fruitcake loaves out of the oven, they are perfectly puffed on top, having risen during baking. Upon cooling, the centers of the fruitcakes sink about 1/4 inch. They taste fine, but I would prefer to have the tops of the fruitcakes be level. Is this due to the heat of my oven? Something inherent in the recipe? I thought that maybe making the fruitcake in a cake pan and using my cake strips would help, but those are for domed tops, not sinking centers.

(Recipe can be found here:, except that I used 1/2 cup applesauce instead of 1/4 cup)

Preacher cookie drama

Ooookies, I'm goin to need some advice about these suckers.

So, after reading a couple of the posts earlier about no bake type cookies, I decided to whip up a batch of no bakes myself. Now, allow me a bit of back story.

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All right, with that out of the way, lets get down to what went wrong.
Here is the recipe -
I used soymilk and marg, as you can imagine.
Upon beginning the melting of my candy ingrediants, I found that my candy thermometer was broken (I bought a new one after getting off work this morning, bless you Walmart for being open at 3am for us overnight workers). I instead decided to use the 'soft ball' test to know when they were ready. However, after trying it over and over, I just kept on getting threads which eventually became more and more dense, but never actual balls. Could this be because I drizzled into the water rather than just plopping the test candy into the water?
Anyways, after saying, 'good enough', I added the rest of my ingrediants. Everything mixed up, wonderful, splendid, smells good, etc. I turned around to get my pan and to my dismay, guess what I found?
It was a solid mass of yumminess. Within about 10 seconds, the mixture had gone from slightly damp to a hard rock. It crumbled easily enough, but would not turn into any sort of cookie. However, I did not let this deter me. Those were some tasty preacher cookie disaster crumbles. Unfortuantly, what I wanted was not crumbles. It was cookies I was after.
So, heres where you come in (or not, you don't have to if you don't want, I mean, I'm goin to assume that vgnwtch will have some sort of wonderfully british tidbit of knowledge to pull out of her vast library of experience, but for the rest of you, I'll take whatever advice I can get, even words of encouragment, or how about a good luck on my cell physiology exam?):

First off, what went wrong on my 'soft ball' test. Secondly, why did my cookies skip that whole stage where they let me make them into cookie form?

Thanks for any help, and thanks for stopping by!
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  • meowed

Lack of nut milk and baking

So, I'm snowed in today and dying to bake. I have tons of flours, cocoa, chocolate chips, peanut butter, etc. Unfortunately, I only have a little bit of almond milk left. I do have several cans of coconut milk, though.

Any suggestions on what I can make?
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