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The Hirshon Iraqi (Sumerian) Date and Walnut Kleicha Cookies – كليجة بالتمر والجوز

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  • Author: The Generalissimo


Units Scale
  • 3 cups cake flour (TFD change, originally was AP flour)
  • 1 cup Emmer flour (TFD change to bring it closer to qullupu, originally was AP flour)
  • 1 Tbsp. yeast
  • 1/2 cup clarified butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (TFD recommends white sesame oil as the appropriate oil to be Sumerian)
  • 1 1/4 cup warm bottled water combined with a large pinch of crushed saffron (Saffron is an optional TFD addition, to bring it closer to Sumerian, omit for Iraqi)
  • 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly-ground cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly-ground wild cumin seeds (TFD addition to bring these cookies closer to the original qullupu)
  • 1 tsp. fennel pollen (TFD change, original was ground fennel seeds)
  • 1 tsp. freshly-ground nigella seeds (they are normally left whole, but I prefer their stronger flavor when ground)
  • ***
  • Date and Walnut filling:
  • 6 oz. very finely-chopped dates (preferably deglet noor dates or madjool)
  • 2 oz. walnuts, powdered
  • 1/4 stick butter
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly-ground cardamom
  • 1 Tbsp. finely-crushed dried rose petals (TFD highly optional addition, omit for original)
  • ***
  • Egg Wash – beat one egg with 1 Tbsp. water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil baking pans and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, put the yeast in warm water and cover to rise. Combine flours, nigella seeds, cardamom, cumin, fennel pollen, salt, oil and butter, and rub it with your hands.
  3. Add yeast and water. Knead the dough and add more water if needed. It depends on the flour absorbtion of liquids. Place in a large oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for an hour.
  4. For the Date Filling: Cook dates with ¼ stick of butter until very soft. Add all other filling ingredients. Let the mixture cool before using. Cover a cutting board with plastic wrap, and spread the dates on the board using a rolling pin to make a thin sheet.
  5. Roll out a piece of dough on a cutting board. Cover the top with a very thin layer of date mixture. Roll the dough like a jelly roll. Cut 1-inch wide, and arrange in the pan. Brush top with egg wash, and bake for 30 minutes. Put the cookies on cooling rack. Store them in a cookie container.
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