Iraqi Date Cookies (Kleichat tamur)

Darya has a wonderful blog and I especially like her Middle-Eastern recipes as they are so new to me and always delicious. Last year she posted a recipe for Iraqi date cookies that I put on my list of recipes to try. I wish I had tried them sooner, because they are awesome. They are fragrant with great flavor and texture and what is even better, they are not very sweet at all because all the sweetness comes from the date filling. The dough is easy to make and easy to handle, so I will definitely make these again. Merci, Darya!

Use good quality dates for this such as medjool dates, as that will make all of the difference.

Did you notice the beautiful serving bowl? It was made by my friend and ceramics artist Odette.


Makes 24 cookies

For the dough

1/2 tsp dry yeast

2 tsp sugar

160 ml (2/3 cup) lukewarm water

375 grams (2 1/2 cups) flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp ground aniseed

1/2 tsp whole nigella seeds

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

160 ml (3/4 cup) sunflower or grapeseed oil

For the filling

450 grams (1 lb) pitted medjool dates (about 500 grams/1.1 lbs gross weight)

60 ml (1/4 cup) water

1 tsp cacao powder

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp whole aniseeds (I used ground aniseed)

2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

1 tsp orange blossom water

For glazing

1 sachet powdered saffron (or 3 threads, toasted until brittle, and then ground with a pestle and mortar)

1 egg yolk

I served the cookies for dessert at the end of a dinner party. It is probably not very Iraqi to have wine with them, but the Italian Verduzzo passito (from withered grapes) was an outstanding pairing. I think most passito-wines will work very well.



Rabbit in piquant sauce is a great Italian dish that can be prepared either sous-vide or on the stovetop. The piquant sauce with tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, anchovy, rosemary, capers, and parsley is delicious and has great depth of flavor.


7 thoughts on “Iraqi Date Cookies (Kleichat tamur)

  1. Thank you for the shout-out, Stefan. I updated the recipe after you pointed out my mistake at the end of the recipe. I’m so glad you liked these, they are among my favorite cookies. I made them recently to serve at a conference a coworker of mine gave on diet and cancer; the cookies illustrated how you can eat things that are sweet without necessarily resorting to refined sugar; they were a huge hit, and many people asked for my recipe, and then made it. As a result, I too have been making them more often these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fact: I like both Darya’s blog and yours! Fact: I do not make or eat ‘cookies’ usually! Fact: I also love Middle-Eastern cooking! Fact: These look ever so inviting . . . . . and they have been approved at a medical conference . . . Fact: Eha face it – you have to try: now to ingredients 🙂 !

    Liked by 1 person

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