Let’s start off by saying that I absolutely love this cookie! Not just because its SO easy, but because it is SO delicious too. Who knew a 4 ingredient cookie can taste this good in no time? Ghraybeh is crisp on the outside and just melts in your mouth once you bite into it.
The nuts on top give that little extra decoration and crunch. You can even make some with sprinkles for your kiddos. You can really have fun with these butter cookies. I even have a variation of Ghraybeh where I made them into thumbprint cookies; you need to check that out. It was my modern take on this traditional classic Arabic cookie.
These cookies are often made around Ramadan and Eid to serve to guests. They stay fresh for a long period of time if sealed properly at room temperature. They look even more festive if you sprinkle some powdered sugar on top! Now, who’s giving this cookie a try?? Below are some tips when making this cookie!
Tips for making Ghraybeh:
- Make sure that the butter for this recipe is room temperature meaning that it is soft to touch but still holds its shape well.
- Work with Unsalted butter as opposed to salted butter for this recipe. Some other recipes use ghee, Crisco, or shortening for their Ghraybeh but I never tested with any of those.
- Make sure that the dough chills for at least 1 hour in the fridge before shaping into cookies.
- When shaping, allow the cookie to have some height so when it bakes; it doesn’t completely flatten but regardless it will taste amazing.
Ghraybeh (Middle Eastern Shortbread Cookie)
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 sticks Unsalted Room Temperature Butter 113 grams for each stick of butter. You will need a total of 226 Grams.
- 20 whole pieces of Pistacho or Almond
- Powdered Sugar Garnish, optional
- First, mix the butter with the powdered sugar using a rubber spatula. You want to cream the both together until they are combined nicely.
- Then, add 1 cup of flour at a time. Use the same spatula to mix it all together. When folding in the second cup, mix with your hands in order to have everything well incorporated. It should resemble pie dough. You want to be able to shape a disk or ball out of the dough. Don't be discouraged if the dough appears crumbly; keep working with it until it all comes together because it will!
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour. This is imperative.
- Once you take out the dough, it should be hard to touch but it will be easier to mold once the heat of your hands come in contact.
- Grab 1 tbsp size piece of dough and shape like a small ball and slightly flatten the top. Make sure it is smooth. Add 1 piece of pistachio or almond on top by gently pressing it down half way. Place on a parchment lined baking tray.
- Keep repeating this step until there is no longer any dough. Make sure there is a few inches of space between the cookies.
- Bake in a 350 F oven for 15-20 minutes max. The bottom should be lightly browned. Bake at the middle rack all throughout or the bottom rack for 15 min then the top rack for 5 minutes.
- Allow the cookies to cool before touching or they can break. If they flatten a little bit, that is fine because it is a butter based cookie but in order to prevent flatenning; make sure the butter was room temp. to start with and the dough chilled properly.
- Sprinkle some powedered sugar on top if you would like and enjoy!