Figgy Christmas Fruit Roll

Photo: Sang An
4 12-inch rolls

Fruitcakes are a common and welcomed dessert for the holiday season.


  • 12 ounces (3 ¼ cups) walnuts

  • 4 ½ pounds (about 10 cups) dried figs

  • 4 ounces (¾ cup) dates, pitted and roughly chopped

  • 6 ounces (1 cup) candied citrus peel, such as orange, roughly chopped

  • 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into ¼-inch pieces

  • 5 ounces (1 cup) pistachios

  • 6 tablespoons brandy, plus more for sprinkling

  • 2 tablespoons anisette

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • Pinch of salt

  • Confectioners' sugar

  • Hard Sauce, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread walnuts in a single layer on baking sheet. Toast in oven until walnuts are just fragrant, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Roughly chop walnuts.

  2. Place figs in the bowl of a food processor, and process until finely minced (may need to be in two batches).Transfer figs to a large bowl, and add chopped walnuts. Add dates, citrus peel, chocolate, pistachios, 2 tablespoons brandy, anisette, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt, and mix well, using your hands for best results.

  3. Divide mixture into four equal parts. Dust a clean work surface with confectioners' sugar. Gently roll each part into a log about 2 inches in diameter and 12 inches long. Gently brush off excess sugar with a pastry brush. Roll each log in rice paper. Brush each log with about 1 tablespoon brandy. Do not worry if rice paper tears. Wrap logs again in parchment, and secure with string. Store in a dark, cool, dry place, sprinkling rice paper with brandy once a week for at least 1 month before serving. Slice rolls into thin rounds to serve. (Serve with Hard Sauce, if desired.)

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