The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down,
a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion.
[Quran: Chapter 2:183]


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Eid Recipe | Klaicha Dessert from Iraq

It is common when you visit a Muslim home to celebrate the end of Ramadan (Eid al Fitr) to be served with varieties of desserts, like cookies and cakes, along with tea and coffee.

In Iraq, a popular pastry called the klaicha, a date-filled pastry, is made during Eid.

Today, we feature this recipe below. Try making it for your Eid celebration!

Eid Recipe
Klaicha(Date Filled Pastry)

Recipe makes 25 cookies

Ingredients for Pastry

2 cups (260 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, fluffed, scooped and leveled into measuring cups
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
3 tablespoons orange juice (or 2 teaspoons orange flower water and the remainder water)

Ingredients for Date Filling

8 ounces whole, pitted, dates (about 1/2 cup, packed)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons melted unsalted butter


Place the flour in a processor bowl. Add the cardamom, if using it. Scatter the butter on top of the flour. Pulse-process until the butter is cut into the flour to resemble coarse meal.

Sprinkle the orange juice over the flour. Process until the dough forms a ball. It should be very soft and moist.

Remove it from the processor, wrap in plastic wrap, and set aside, at room temperature, for 1 hour.

While the dough is resting, make the date filling. If the dates are very soft, they can be processed without cooking them. Place them in the processor, add the cinnamon, and process until finely chopped. Add the butter, and pulse-process to incorporate (if you continually process instead of pulse-process, the paste gets very soft, and changes to an unpleasant color). If you have miscalculated the moistness of your dates, and feel they need to be softer, remove the metal blade and set the processor bowl in a microwave. Heat on medium-high for up to 2 minutes. Pulse-process again to smooth out the paste. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F., with the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Divide the dough into 30 balls. Press your thumb into the center of each ball to form a cavity. Form the dough into a little “pot” with the sides being about 1/16th inch thick. If the dough flattens while you are trying to make the pot, knead in a little bit of flour. If the dough is a little too sticky, sprinkle the work table and your hands with a little flour and then work the dough. Fill each pot about three-quarters full with a rounded half-teaspoonful of filling. Press the dough to seal in the filling and then roll the dough between your hands to form a flattened ball.

To make the characteristic design in the cookies, you will need a special mold. An alternative is to score the balls with fork, or to use some sort of makeshift mold.

Set cookies on the parchment lined sheets and bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until lightly browned.

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