Nick Malgieri's Sicilian Fig Bars

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Although fig bars are standard American fare, fig-filled cookies are also very traditional in Sicily, where they are called cucidati. I've decided to merge the two and make a fig bar that is shaped like the industrially-made one, but has some typical Sicilian seasonings in it for extra flavor.

These make great Christmas cookies: they're easy to prepare, and they keep well, whether you store them tightly covered in a tin or plastic container, or wrap and freeze them.

I like to use the dried green figs that are called Calimyrna figs for the filling, though you may also use dried black mission figs which are also very flavorful. One note of caution about using dried figs: during the drying process the stems become very hard and sharp, so be sure to snip them off before preparing the filling.

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