I was volunteering in my mum’s school kitchen a while ago, and the children made these phenomenal gluten-free date cookies called Klaicha as part of their Middle Eastern-themed gourmet charity lunch. These children are cooking delicious recipes that are bursting with flavor and nutrition. Judy, the cooking teacher, finds the most exotic recipes that never fail to impress. This charity lunch was no exception. The menu was mouthwatering: dips and home made flat breads, Moroccan pasties, unbelievable tagines, and delectable salads. The Middle Eastern fruit salad and home made cultured yogurt was absolutely to die for, as were these Klaicha cookies.
Just like the delicious red cabbage salad I posted some time ago, these scrumptious cookies are a wonderful little treat I have cooked up with the proud little cooks in the Burwood Heights school kitchen.
Klaicha cookies are a national treat from Iraq. They press them into special molds similar to tabis, but we just pressed them with the prongs of a fork. I have modified our original recipe and used Rapadura sugar to sweeten the dough, and used rice, tapioca and buckwheat flours to make these treats gluten free and more like shortbreads. You could also use some sorghum flour instead of some of the rice flour. That worked really well too. But sorghum is not as readily available as rice flour. So I have posted this simple version to make it easy for everyone. I did make some yummy versions using almond flour, which is a more nutritious alternative, but I found it a bit overpowering for Klaicha, and was too much of a departure from the personality of the original cookies.
Now, this is not the healthiest recipe I have posted! But they are tiny. Yes! We will tell ourselves that as we surreptitiously grab for a second or third; or dare I say it, a fourth! I challenge you to stop at just one! These cookies are gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soy free and nut free. If you eat dairy, you could always use butter. The best thing about these date-filled cookies? They are super easy to make! I just threw everything in the food processor.
These klaicha cookies are absolutely incredible, and the many friends I served them to in Melbourne unanimously agreed. I hope you will enjoy a taste of something a bit different.