Kleicha: Traditional Iraqi Date Cookie Recipe



  • Prep: 60 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Total: 80 mins
  • Yield: 20 servings
  • Cooking Method: Baking
  • Recipe Cuisine: Arabic


  • 4cups all-purpose flour
  • 1cup sunflower oil
  • 2tablespoonsgranulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoonsalt
  • 3/4 cup+6 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1/4cupsesame seeds
  • 1egg (beaten with a drop of vinegar)
  • 1tablespoonactive dry yeast
  • 1000grams date
  • 4tablespoonsbutter (softened)
  • 4tablespoonssunflower oil
  • 1teaspooncardamom powder

If you haven’t heard of kleicha, you can think of them as famous date cookies with wonderfully aromatic undertones.

Kleicha is an Iraqi date cookie made from silky dough and flavorful date filling. These tiny drops of sweetness can be enjoyed as a party dessert or healthy snacks.

Traditionally Kleicha is cooked for the celebration of the new year. This date cookie recipe is convenient and easy. You should try it at least once to feel the uniqueness!


Step 1

Kelicha will taste amazing with tea and coffee. Let’s begin making this fantastic dessert by proofing the yeast.
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast with 6 tablespoons of lukewarm water and granulated sugar. Let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes. You will have a nice and bubbly foam in the end.
This shows that your yeast is fresh and not expired.

Step 2

To make the kleicha dough choose a large glass bowl. Add the flour, salt, and cardamom powder. Mix them with your hands well.
Heat the sunflower oil a bit in a large skillet. Add it to the flour mixture. Pour in ¾ cup of lukewarm water, and finally add the proofed yeast mixture.
Knead the mixture well until you have a pliable kleicha dough. Grease the bowl and place the dough in it.
Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Step 3

While the kleicha dough is resting, you can prepare the filling for the delicious date cookie. Pull open the dates and remove the pits with a knife.
Cut the dates roughly and put them in a bowl. Add the cardamom powder, oil, and butter to dates and mix them well.
Transfer the date mixture to a food processor and blend the date cookie filling until you have a smooth paste. You can do it by combining the mixture in batches.

Step 4

Divide the date cookie paste into ten equal portions. Then make ten long logs of the date about 20cm (9 inches) long.
Cover them with a kitchen towel and set them aside.

Step 5

When the kleicha dough has doubled in size, divide it into ten equal portions. Make ten long logs with each dough piece about 15cm (6 inches) long.
Sprinkle the logs with some flour. Now stretch the logs with a rolling pin to 22cm (9 inches) long.
It is time to assemble the amazing date cookie.

Step 6

Place each date log over the flattened dough. Close the dough around the date paste, and pinch to seal it completely.

Step 7

Roll the stuffed log back and forth several times to smooth it. Cut each log into about eight portions, and transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Beat the egg with a drop of vinegar in a small bowl. Brush the kleicha with egg wash.
Sprinkle the cookies with sesame seeds on top. Repeat the process with the other dough portions and date paste logs.

Step 8

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes until the top is golden. Enjoy!


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