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kleicha Iraqi date cookies with one in front of others stacked behind
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5 from 2 votes

Kleicha (Iraqi date cookies)

These unusual cookies are made special by the aromatic cardamon-date filling - so good!
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Servings: 12 -16, approx
Calories: 157kcal
Author: Caroline's Cooking


For the dough

  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour 180g
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamon (see notes below)
  • ½ cup milk 120ml, warmed
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried instant yeast
  • 6 tablespoon coconut oil , melted

For the filling

  • 1 cup dried dates 140g (weight without stones, pieces is fine)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • ½ tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoon water (approx)


  • Mix together the flour, salt, cumin and cardamon. Add the sugar and yeast to the warm milk, stir then leave it around 5 minutes to activate.
  • After the 5min, add the milk mixture along with the melted coconut oil to the flour mixture. Stir well then tip onto a surface and knead a couple minutes. It will feel a little greasy, don't worry. Put the dough in a bowl, cover and leave to rise in a draught-free place for approx 30min.
  • Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the dates, cardamon, fennel seeds and coconut oil in a small pan and warm over a medium-low heat until the dates soften and the mixture starts to stick together as a bit of a ball. Add some water to thin it to a jam-like consistency, a tablespoon at a time as it will depend on how soft he dates were.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F/175C.
  • Lay a layer of cling wrap/film or parchment on your work surface and line a baking sheet with a cookie sheet or parchment.
  • Tip the dough onto the lined work surface and roll the dough into a rectangle, around 1 ½ times as long as it is wide and approx ¼in/6mm thick. Dab the date filling onto the top and spread all over the dough leaving a strip without any on the two shorter ends.
  • Lifting up the cling wrap/film or parchment to help you, roll from one of the short ends and form a roll. Finish by having the other end on the bottom so it seals together.
  • Using a serrated knife, carefully cut the roll into slices, either approx 1in/2,5cm thick or thinner, as you prefer. Carefully transfer the slices to the baking sheet, standing on end if thicker, squashing slightly, or else laying flat if thinner.
  • Bake for approx 15min until lightly brown. Delicious served warm from the oven but also good cold.


If you don't have ground cardamon, use about twice the volume of whole pods. Crush them slightly with a pestle and mortar then squeeze the seeds from the pods and discard the pods. Crush the seeds to a powder.


Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 0.7mg