Ghraybeh, or sometimes you can find it written as Ghorayeba, is a Middle Eastern Cookie. These cookies melt in your mouth, with fine-texture, delicate, and delicious. With only three ingredients, Ghraybeh is the easiest, egg-free cookie that will impress your family and guests. You can garnish Ghorayeba with pistachios, almonds, or you can skip the nuts and bake it plain. There are a few steps that you have to follow to make sure not to turn Ghraybeh into a crunchy and tasteless cookie. Please watch the video within this post to learn how to make this Arabian delight.
Ghraybeh can be found in Middle Eastern bakery shops, but the one made at home is an entirely different story. You can’t compare the store-bought with the homemade. If you want to taste the original flavor and enjoy the fantastic texture, you most probably have to make it at home.
Ingredients you need to make Ghraybeh
All-purpose flour. Please don’t use the self-rising flour, or the cookies will come out hard after it cools.
Confectioner’s sugar. Fine sugar will not work here because it will not melt in the dough.
Ghee. Use cold ghee not melted and not ghee that’s at room temperature. In the process of making Ghraybeh, we must beat the sugar with ghee to reach a buttercream frosting texture, and you can’t get that with melted or room temp ghee. We are using ghee and not butter because we want to reduce the amount of moisture in the cookies, and butter has some amount of water in it. If you're going to make your own ghee, please refer to my post “Ghee Clarified Butter”.
Other optional ingredients are nuts and flavorings like Vanilla or cardamom.
How to make Ghraybeh
It is super easy to make Ghraybeh or Ghorayeba. In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat the ghee until its light in color and fluffy in texture. Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat the mixture until it forms a texture like buttercream frosting.
If you decide to add flavor to the ghraybeh, then add some and beat for one minute on medium speed. Add the flour and mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon or a spatula for few seconds to prevent the flour from flying all over your kitchen when you turn on the mixer.
Do not over mix the dough or the ghraybeh will come out hard. You can check if the dough has the proper texture. Take a spoonful from the dough and form a ball between your palms, then press it gently. If you see cracks, then you have added less ghee to the recipe and need to add more.
Cover the dough and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes. The resting time in the fridge will help you in shaping the cookies later.
Form equal size balls and press each ball gently to have a uniformed shape (you can also bake the cookies without pressing them down). Place peeled pistachio in the middle of each cookie. Place the shaped cookies in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven and bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. Ghraybeh should come out a little inflated, but the color shouldn’t change. The whole cookie should have an off white color, even the bottom.
Let the cookies cool while in the baking sheet; these are delicate cookies, and if you try to move them while hot, they will break.
Later, when the cookies are at room temperature, place them on a cooling rack.
Tips to making your first Ghraybeh a hit
- Make sure to use all-purpose flour and not cake flour or self-rising flour.
- Don’t use brown sugar in this recipe. Brown sugar has a lot of moisture.
- Don’t skip the refrigerating steps, or the cookies might spread while baking.
- It is essential to beat the ghee until fluffy, don’t rush it and add the sugar before you get the right texture.
- If your kitchen is hot and the ghee is melting, place the ghee in the fridge for a few minutes until cold and then use it in the recipe.
- Preheat your oven. It’s best to turn on the oven 15 minutes before the baking.
- After cooling the cookies, leave them out for an hour or two and then store them in a container.
- When you buy the confectioners’, sugar make sure to read the ingredients. Some confectioners’ sugar contains cornstarch.
More Middle Eastern Desserts
How to store Ghraybeh?
Because of the amount of sugar and ghee in these cookies, you can store them in a plastic container for up to two weeks.
Can I prepare these cookies in advance?
You can shape the cookies and place the pistachio in the middle of each one, then freeze the cookies until hard while on a baking sheet. When hard, place the raw cookies in a Ziploc bag and freeze for up to a month. To bake the frozen cookies, place them on a baking sheet, and bake them in a preheated oven without thawing them. Increase the baking time by 2 to 3 minutes.
My Ghraybeh came out hard and cracked!
You get hard and cracked ghraybeh when you add more flour than needed. To measure the flour, spoon the flour in a measuring cup—level off the flour by using the straight edge of a knife.
Ghraybeh Middle Eastern Butter Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ confectioner’s sugar powdered sugar
- 1 cup cold ghee
- ½ teaspoon vanilla optional
- Pistachios to garnish the cookies
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat the ghee until light in color and fluffy in texture.
- Add the confectioner’s sugar to the ghee and continue beating until you get a buttercream texture.
- Add the Vanilla and beat for few seconds.
- Reduce the mixer’s speed and add the flour. Mix for a few seconds with a spatula or a wooden spoon and then mix using the stand mixer until the ingredients are well combined.
- Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Form equal size balls, the balls should weigh 15 to 16 grams and place them over the previously prepared baking sheet.
- You can keep the balls as is or press them down gently and place one pistachio over each ball, pushing the pistachio gently in the center of the cookie.
- Place the formed ghraybeh cookies while on the baking sheet in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 160C/325F.
- Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes in the middle rack.
- Take out the cookies from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes while on the baking sheet. Do not touch the cookies while they are hot nor move them from the baking sheet.
- Place the cookies on a cooling rack. Leave the cookies out and uncovered for at least an hour to make sure it’s not warm because if you place the cookies in a container while warm, the moisture will make the cookies hard.
- Store the cookies in a container and leave at room temperature for up to a week.
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