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Traditional Ghraybeh (Middle Eastern Shortbread Cookie)

close up of ghraybeh with one cut in half showing the creamy inside

This traditional ghraybeh (Middle Eastern shortbread cookie) is slightly crisp on the outside and melts in your mouth once you bite into it. I love this cookie for many reasons. Not only is it simple to put together, but the result is fantastic. Who knew a four-ingredient cookie could taste this good in no time?

The nuts on top give that little extra decoration and crunch but is also nostalgic and traditional to this Arab butter cookie. You can even make some with sprinkles for your kiddos. You can 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 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 like maamoul.

traditional ghraybeh (middle eastern shortbread cookies) sprinkled with powdered sugar with a pistachio in the center
ghraybeh

Tips for making Ghraybeh:

  1. Make sure that the butter for this recipe is room temperature meaning that it is soft to touch but still holds its shape well.
  2. 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.
  3. Make sure that the dough chills for at least 1 hour in the fridge before shaping into cookies.
  4. When shaping, allow the cookie to have some height so when it bakes; it doesn’t completely flatten but regardless it will taste amazing.

Please leave a rating & review below.

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think below! Your feedback means a lot. I would love to see your remakes on my Instagram page too!

ghraybeh (middle eastern shortbread cookies) sprinkled with powdered sugar with a pistachio in the center
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5 from 34 votes

Ghraybeh (Middle Eastern Shortbread Cookie)

This is the easiest shortbread cookie you will ever make! Just 4 ingredients and you will have a delicious melt in your mouth cookie.
Chill time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Arabic, Middle Eastern
Keyword: butter cookie, Fufus Kitchen, ghraybeh, shortbread cookie
Servings: 20 cookies
Author: Heifa

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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!
Eid cookies including ghraybeh

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66 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These cookies were delicious and really easy to do. My daughter had fun rolling and decorating them. I actual made half the batch to see how they would be and they are almost finished 😂 should have made the whole thing 😃😃😋 will make again for sure

      1. Thanks! I never tried freezing the dough but I can imagine it will work if you allow for it to defrost until it is able to be worked with.

      2. When preparing for a holiday season, my mother-in-law used to form the cookies and freeze them on a cookie sheet. Then she transferred them to a freezer bag once frozen. When ready to bake she simply placed on a cookie sheet to thaw to chilled stage before baking.

  2. 5 stars
    Followed the recipe exactly and the cookies came out amazing!! My whole family devoured them 🙂

    1. Followed Fufus recipe and it came out excellent!! Thank you for a great and easy recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    Beautiful! So tasty and came out beautiful 🙂 thank you so much for such a lovely trustworthy recipe

  4. 5 stars
    This was the easiest recipe to follow and make. My daughters loved helping me make this so much. Thank you so much for all your hard work and sharing your recipes with us all. We truly appreciate this more than you know it.

  5. 5 stars
    I cannot believe how easy this recipe was to follow. I made 1 batch and immediately regretted not making more. I know this recipe will easily become a family favourite. Thanks for your recipe Fufu!

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve made many of your recipes and they always are amazing! This was the first time I’ve made (even had!) these cookies even though I’m Lebanese and all of my family approved!!! Everyone loved these!

  7. 5 stars
    Just made these cookies for the first time today- Glad I went with Heifa’a recipe that uses butter instead of Ghee. They were delicious! So simple and light… cooking instructions so clear!

  8. 5 stars
    Are we able to use less butter? Or substitute a portion of it with oil? I was hoping to make this recipe a little healthier.

    1. Hi Kiyaan,
      I would not recommend oil in place of butter for this cookie. It is a butter cookie and the butter has to be room temperature (semi-firm) and not melted so the oil will not work as a substitute as it is a liquid.
      Unfortunately, these cookies are meant to be indulgent!

  9. 5 stars
    I’ve been too scared to try out new recipes but this one definitely boosted my confidence. Not only did they turn our perfect, the directions were so clear and easy to read. As a newlywed, I wanted to explore more in the kitchen and this was such a great starting point. I look forward to using more recipes from fufus kitchen. ❤️

  10. 5 stars
    These are so good!! Super easy and simple recipe but the result is amazing! I can not to wait to try other recipes too! Highly recommended :))

  11. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing! I really like both Shortbread and thick cookies (and what’s there not to love), so this was perfect 🙂 I also particularly appreciate the fact that they really turn out as the photo here, even after a first-time bake! They disappeared in 24 hours.

    1. 5 stars
      So easy to make and a super versatile recipe! I used this dough to make thumbprint cookies and added a few drops of vanilla…delicious!!!

    1. They should taste and be the same texture for several days. They are melt in your mouth butter cookies! So, a little crisp on the outside and soft and crumbly when you bite into it.

  12. Just made these cookies for Eid tmrw and haven’t tasted but my kids say they are the best cookies they’ve ever had. Needless to say, I can’t wait to try them for iftar today :). Super easy recipe and professional bakery looking cookies, it’s a no brainer to try them out.

  13. 5 stars
    These cookies are so delicious thanks for the recipe. I’ve made my own dairy, sugar and gluten free version using gluten free plain flour, stevia and nutlex 😋 I’ve got a batch chilling in the fridge now that I also put orange blossom water in 😋

  14. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last eid and wowww they were amazing the tray was empty immediately. I’m making them again this eid in sha allah!

  15. Different alternative to tea time or for iftar or suhur. From the smallest to the big ones in the house enjoy them.

  16. 5 stars
    I love these cookies for eid, made them last year and they were super easy to make. I can’t wait to make them again for this eid for my family and friends

  17. 5 stars
    Ghrayba is one of my favorite desserts and I love how Heifa shares such easy recipes! I make these as part of my Eid dessert boxes.

  18. 5 stars
    I made these a few months ago and my husband and kids loved them. So simple and delicious. Thanks for always providing the most clearest easiest way to make your recipes.

  19. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite cookies and to see how easy it is to make, makes me happy to know I can make it myself.
    I loved every bite. So soft and tasty.

  20. 5 stars
    Hi Fufu,
    Since I live in Europe, we are not very familiar with the American cups… How many grams or ml does your cup have? Thank you very much for the answer
    Ramona

  21. 5 stars
    This is an easy and delicious recipe to make. Love the cardamom twist and was able to make it vegan! It was perfect for Eid celebration. Thank you

  22. 5 stars
    Love making ghraybeh! As a child I always loved eating it and when I tried this recipe it’s a must in my house! Super easy to make and very delicious.

  23. 5 stars
    My mother-in-law’s family spent time in Egypt, so they make a lot of traditional Egyptian sweets for Eid. I made this for her, and she was blown away by how good and authentic it tasted. I did use my stand mixer instead of doing it by hand, but it still turned out delicious.

  24. 5 stars
    My mother-in-law’s family spent time in Egypt, so they make a lot of traditional Egyptian sweets for Eid. I made this for her, and she was blown away by how good and authentic it tasted. I did use my stand mixer instead of doing it by hand, but it still turned out delicious.

  25. 5 stars
    These cookies were so easy and quick to make, I love how simple the ingredients are and how we can literally make a few different recipes with this dough . Saving this recipe . Amazing

  26. 5 stars
    I made this version and the jam version . Literally gone within two days . Everyone in my family loved it ! Will definitely be making again .

  27. 5 stars
    Assalamualiakum Absolutely amazing and would definitely say Masha’Allah best Libyan biscuits I’ve made because of your recipe thank you Jazzak’Allah khair

  28. 5 stars
    I have been making these cookies for years, and they NEVER disappoint. I make a tray for nearly every party with family and friends and there’s never any leftover. I love adding different flavors to the dough, especially cardamom or cinnamon or matcha (yes, matcha ghraybeh lol). It’s the yummiest and easiest cookie recipe. Thank you!!!

  29. Hey Fufu,
    Thanks for the recipe! I can’t wait to make these for eid. Question… if I make these a day or two in advance how can I store them? I’m thinking to top with some powdered sugar too. Should I do that only before I serve them? Thanks a lot!!

  30. Could I put these on the tray ready to bake and then leave them in the fridge for a bit so I can bake them fresh?

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