Assyrian kileche cookies

By Megan Evans, Arts and entertainment editor

Growing up in Syria, my mom learned countless recipes from her mother. Having four daughters and a son, my grandma wanted to pass down her delicious recipes to her children, so that they could share these recipes with their kids in the future.

My mom has been making these homemade Assyrian cookies for years. “Kileche” in Assyrian represents a type of Assyrian holiday cookie. They are also known as “Kleicha” in Arabic. These cookies are usually made during Christmas and Easter.

They have a harder, buttery outside, and are usually filled with dates, coconut, or walnuts. This is her family’s secret recipe.


Ingredients: (This recipe makes a lot of cookies! Amount of ingredients can be changed to make more or less)

5 lb. bag of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of yeast

1 tablespoon of ground Mahlep

1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves

1 tablespoon of nutmeg

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of sugar

5 eggs

2 lbs. Unsalted butter

2 cups of warm milk

4 packages of baking dates



  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Take a large bowl and mix all dry ingredients together. Next, add all of the eggs (room temperature) to the dry ingredients. Then, add the warm milk to the large bowl.
  3. Using your hands, mix all of the ingredients together until you have a smooth-textured dough (Using your hands instead of a mixing bowl will result in a better texture and consistency). Once the dough is properly mixed, leave in large bowl and cover with plastic wrap (any type of cover will work), and let sit for one hour.
  4. While dough is sitting, take the baking dates and place them in a medium-sized pot. Put stove on low heat, and add half a stick of butter to the pot. Along with the butter, add a teaspoon of cinnamon. Keep stirring on low heat until butter and cinnamon are fully mixed into the dates.
  5. After the dough has been sitting for an hour, take your dates, dough, and a baking sheet, and start molding your cookies. You can take a small-medium sized ball of dough (size is up to you), and create a flat circle. Then, place as many dates as you want in the middle, and wrap the rest of the dough around the dates (essentially creating a round cookie with filling in the middle).
  6. Crack an egg into a bowl and whisk it with a fork until the egg becomes a solid yellow color. Use a pastry brush to brush a light coat of the egg wash onto each of the cookies.
  7. Next, place cookies in the oven until they are golden brown. Let them cool off, and enjoy!