Friday, December 20, 2013

Day 8 of “The 12 Days Of Christmas Music” & “Sicilian Fig Cookies"

We consider Christmas as the encounter, the great encounter, the historical encounter, the decisive encounter, between God and mankind. He who has faith knows this truly; let him rejoice….. Pope Paul VI 

Welcome to Day 8 of “The 12 Days Of Christmas Music.” I hope that you enjoyed yesterday’s post, “Oh Holy Night.” Just to remind some of my readers that have just stopped by what I am doing, everyday for the next 4 days I will post a Christmas song, and share a holiday treat, or just a favorite recipe that I think may go with that song, all leading up to “Christmas Day!” This has been an incredible year! I want to say thank you to my readers, as we prepare for the most joyous time of the year! (Don’t forget to come back tomorrow!)

As we continue with Christmas carols, another one of my favorites comes to mind, which is called “Joy To The World.” A popular Christmas carol that was first published in 1719 by English hymn writer Isaac Watts. This carol was based on Psalm 98 in the Bible. Watts wrote the words of “Joy to the World” to glorifying Christ’s triumphant return. Only the second half of Watts’ lyrics are still used today. The music was adapted and arranged to Watts’ lyrics by Lowell Mason in 1839 from an older melody which was then believed to have originated from Handel. As of the late 20th century, “Joy to the World” was the most published Christmas hymn in North America. 

Day 8: “Joy To The World

Verse 1:
Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Verse 2:
Joy to the world! the Saviour reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

Verse 3:
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

Verse 4:
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

These cookies are fun to create and very colorful, in true Sicilian fashion. To me baking these cookies mean “Buon Natale” or “Merry Christmas” even if you are not Italian. Hope you enjoy! 

Sicilian Fig Cookies

Photo, courtesy of Daniela Messina
Dough Ingredients:
4 cups unbleached, All-Purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 cups dried figs, soaked in water
2 cups dried dates, pitted (About 14 dates)
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup orange marmalade
2/3 cup walnuts or almonds, coarsely chopped
1 large egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
Colored sprinkles

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a large bowl. Add the sugar and stir well. Cut in the shortening with a fork and work the mixture until it looks like corn meal. In a bowl, beat the egg, vanilla, and milk together. Add to the flour mixture and work the mixture with your hands into a rough dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth. The dough will be soft. Cut the dough into 4 pieces, wrap each piece in plastic wrap, and chill for 45 minutes.

To make the filling: grind the figs, dates, and raisins in a food processor until coarse; or coarsely chop. Place the mixture in a bowl, add the honey, cinnamon, marmalade, and nuts, then mix well. The mixture will be thick. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets.

Divide the dough into quarters and work with 1 piece of dough at a time, keeping the remaining dough covered. On a floured surface, roll out each piece of dough to a 12-inch square. Cut the dough into 4-X-3-inch rectangles, and spoon 2 tablespoons of the filling mixture down the center of each rectangle. Carefully fold over the long edges of each rectangle to meet in the center, then pinch the seam to close it securely, and turn the cookie seam side down. Pinch the ends closed and fold the ends under. Shape the cookies into crescents and place seam side down on the cookie sheets. Make 2 or 3 diagonal slits in the top of each crescent with scissors. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with colored sprinkles. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Note: You may eliminate the egg wash and make a confectioners' sugar glaze; when the cookies are still warm, drizzle the glaze over them and sprinkle with the colored sprinkles.  Yield: about 4 dozen.

Till Next Time……………………………….......................................

Copyright © 2013 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved


  1. Good morning Dottie ,
    Eight Day so soon , how time flies when you are enjoying yourself .
    Dottie the last few days have been like a breath of fresh air . If only we could carry these feeling and love throughout the year , Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Man , just live by the words all year long and not just at Christmas time .
    One more cookie to make for Christmas , never made Sicilian Fig cookies , they seem so easy to make and my family loves all the ingredients , I know they are delicious .
    I am a stay at home mom , I was only helping out in HR at the property , I introduced your blog to a lot of family & friends , we love the way you tell your family stories , they can relate to them in so many ways . Thanks for sharing and have a very Blessed day :).

  2. Dear Witchy,

    Welcome..thank you for stopping by and your kind words. Yes, I do agree with you that if we could only carry the love and joy throughout the whole year, I think the world would much nicer to each other. If we keep doing the right things in life maybe we will be role models and hope that someday things will be better.

    You really must try these cookies or any of the others that I have listed. Baking is fun but eating what you baked is even more fun....

    Thank you for telling your family and friends about my blog. I love to share with anyone..

    I am so glad that I was able to bring some memories back to you and your family.

    Please have a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and don't forget you are welcomed back at anytime...

    Blessings, Dottie :)

  3. Hi Dottie ,
    Witchy is my aunt and I was so happy to see she commented , I will have to give her a hug .
    We both was helping out at Human Resources , so many sick people out . She said she read all your earlier posts on 12 days of Christmas .
    I am also making all the cookies you post ,their is a large family of us and we do a lot of sharing . Witchy and her partner has 4 blogs together .
    I love Joy to The World , wish more people would live by the words .
    I enjoys the posts and the way you write them , so warm and full of love , thanks for sharing :)
    See you tomorrow , Blessing :)

  4. Dear Nee,

    I thought Witchy maybe someone you might have known. You both mentioned HR. How wonderful of you and your aunt for your thoughtfulness. Thanks for sharing my blog with your family and friends. How wonderful Nee, that you are making all of the cookies. I am so thrilled that you have enjoyed my blog and honored that you are coming back to read the next day. Witchy is very busy, I can imagine with 4 blogs. I am going crazy doing just one. You are very sweet and a wonderful blogger friend. Blessings, Dottie :)

  5. Dear Dottie, What a festive post with the music and these delicious fig cookies. I just love them.
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  6. Dear Catherine,
    Thank you for stopping by. Yes, the fig cookies are heavenly for sure. Plus the music is fun and really gets you in the mood for Christmas...I am really enjoying writing the posts, even though it is everyday. Thanks again for your continued support, you are a special blogger friend, Blessing for a Merry Christmas...Dottie :)