edible communities

Klecha

When Nada Saco gets together with her family during the holidays, they enjoy meals made with love, including sweets like baklava, halva and klecha, which are traditional Iraqi stuffed cookies.

Photography By Veena Saco | November 20, 2017

Ingredients

For the Dough
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 package yeast (¼ ounce)
  • 1–2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1–2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon haba soda (black caraway seeds), optional
  • 1 teaspoon mahlab (ground cherry kernels), optional
  • 1 cup butter, melted (or half butter and half vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup warm milk
For the fillings
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4–8 ounces date paste
  • ½–1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped very small
  • ½–1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1–2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½–1 tablespoon water (just to moisten the filling)
  • ½–1 cup dry coconut
  • ½–1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1–2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1–2 tablespoons water (just to moisten the filling)
Assembly
  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • *One egg, beaten, for egg wash

Preparation

For the dough

Mix dry ingredients together. Add warm milk and melted butter and mix very well. Knead the dough by hand or machine for 5 to 10 minutes. Cover the dough and put in warm place to rise for 2 to 4 hours.

For the fillings

Heat oil in a pan then add date and cardamom and cook for a few minutes then set aside to cool.

Mix all ingredients and set aside.

Mix all ingredients and set aside.

Assembly

When the dough is risen, divide it into 3 parts, 1 for each filling. Flatten 1 part of dough with a rolling pin into a thin layer. Spread the date paste into a thin layer on top of the dough. Roll the dough like a jelly roll. Then flatten the surface a little with rolling pin. Cut into 1-inch wide, and arrange in the pan. Poke with a fork in a couple places to let the steam out while baking. Brush top with egg wash and bake until the klecha are golden brown.

Roll out another part of the dough into a thin layer. Cut into 2-inch circles using a cookie cutter or a glass. Put 1 teaspoon of the walnut filling in the middle of the circle. Fold circle in half-moon shape. Crimp the edges, arrange on a pan and poke with a fork. Brush with egg wash and bake until golden brown.

Roll out the last part of the dough into a thin layer. Cut into circles using a cookie cutter or a glass. Put 1 teaspoon of the coconut filling in the middle of the circle. Close the edges together and make a ball. Put the ball seam side up in a wooden mold specifically for making klecha then press gently. Flip the mold and hit it on a hard surface so the cookies come out with a nice shape on top. Arrange on a pan and poke with a fork. Brush with egg wash and bake until golden brown.

Ingredients

For the Dough
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 package yeast (¼ ounce)
  • 1–2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1–2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon haba soda (black caraway seeds), optional
  • 1 teaspoon mahlab (ground cherry kernels), optional
  • 1 cup butter, melted (or half butter and half vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup warm milk
For the fillings
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4–8 ounces date paste
  • ½–1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped very small
  • ½–1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1–2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½–1 tablespoon water (just to moisten the filling)
  • ½–1 cup dry coconut
  • ½–1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1–2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1–2 tablespoons water (just to moisten the filling)
Assembly
  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • *One egg, beaten, for egg wash
Subscribe
Build your own subscription bundle.
Pick 3 regions for $60