The Iraqi Family Cookbook

The Iraqi Family Cookbook
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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Klecha Iraqi Cookies. كليجة بالتمر والجوز

These are traditional cookies that we make during the Holidays. We serve them to our guests with tea. I use the following ingredients when making a small batch of klecha. Makes 3 dozens
4 cups all purpose flour
½ cup butter or one stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4  cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon yeast
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil baking pans and set aside.
In a small bowl, put the yeast in warm wa­ter and cover to rise. Combine flour, nigella seeds, cardamom, ground fennel, salt, oil and butter, and rub it with your hands.
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.

Walnut filling:
1 cup walnuts, chopped
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon ground cardamom

In a bowl, mix walnuts, sugar, and cardamom and set aside.
 Take some of the dough and spread it on the work surface with a rolling pin. Cut circles using a cookie cut­ter or a glass. Put 1 teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the circle. Fold circle in half-moon shape. Crimp the edges. Ar­range on a pan. Brush with egg wash, and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Date Filling: Use 8-onces soft baking dates or Majdool dates. Cook dates with ¼ stick of butter. Add ground cardamom and cinnamon. 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.
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.