Kleicha is an Iraqi cookie. It comes in different shapes and fillings, the most common types are filled with dates or an assortment of coconut and walnuts. They’re usually flavored with cardamom and sometimes rose-water. They’re glazed with an egg wash, baked to perfection and served with tea. During the month of Ramadan they are very popular, and every family has their own unique recipe. These cookies are not to be confused with ma’moul, although the concept is similar-the textures and flavors are different. The process is a little tedious, and may seem overwhelming for a beginner-but I got my moms’ recipe with all the step-by-step instructions 🙂

Yield: 60

-3 cups flour
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1/2 cup melted butter
-1 cup milk
-1 teaspoon yeast powder
-2 teaspoons ground cardamom
-1 egg-whisked in a bowl for an egg glaze

Sweet Walnut Filling:
-1 cup chopped walnuts
-1/3 cup sugar
-1 teaspoon ground cardamom or rose-water

Date Filling:
-1 cup seedless soft dates
-2 teaspoons butter/oil
-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
-2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Directions: combine the flour and cardamom in a large bowl. In a cup, combine the milk and yeast-then microwave it for one minute until it’s warm. Pour it on top of the flour mixture and mix with your hands-it should be a crumbly mixture. Next, add the butter and oil to the flour mixture and combine with your hands until you have a dough-like mixture. Place the dough in a plastic bag and allow it to sit and rise for about two hours.
While the dough is rising, make your fillings. In a bowl place the walnuts, sugar, and cardamom. Mix well.
For the date filling, place the dates on the stove and add the butter/oil and mix it over the heat until it becomes soft and well combined. Turn off the heat, and sprinkle the sesame seeds and cardamom on top and combine it well.
In a bowl, crack an egg and whisk it-this is for glazing the kleichas after you take them out of the mold.
Take little pieces of equally-sized dough and form circles, so you can roll it out after. With a wooden roller, roll out the circles of dough that you made and then insert a teaspoon of filling in the center. Make sure there is excess space around the edges so you can fold it in. When you fold it in, if there’s excess dough on top remove it and make sure you close the bottom well and there’s no openings. Repeat as many times as necessary. Finally, place the kleichas in a mold, and place them onto your baking tray. With a baking brush, brush the whisked egg mixture on top of each one, then place it into a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

For the date-filled kleichas, roll out a long piece of dough (about 5 inches in width and 1 foot long) then place your date mixture all over the dough. Grab the edge of the longer side, and start rolling the dough. Cut the dough about 1 inch apart, and place the date-filled kleichas onto your baking tray. Brush them with the egg mixture and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Sorry for the first couple awkward orange-tinted pictures, my camera was on a weird setting and it took me a couple shots until I figured out what the problem was.

Flour with the milk mixture
dough after hand-mixing
dough combined
dough placed in a bag so the yeast can work its magic
sweet walnut filing
pieces of dough, getting ready to be rolled out

rolled out dough, ready to be filled

place the filling in the center, with room around the edges


sweet-walnut stuffing

close the dough and remove the excess off the top

closed up dough

repeat the process, over and over

When you’re done, place them in a mold so they can have a pretty design

oOoOoOoO fancyyy


Time to bake!
date filling
dates spread on a long piece of dough
rollin’ rollin’ rollin’
so here’s our sushi roll, about to be cut…


but really, doesn’t it look like sushi?

oOoO swirls

And they’re done! Fully baked, and ready to be consumed 🙂

It’s definitely a process, but you’ll be pleased with the final product(s)!


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