Buttery, three-ingredient, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies.
Ghraybeh is a popular Middle Eastern shortbread cookie that is buttery in flavour and smooth and delicate in texture.
These cookies are incredibly easy to make. You only need three ingredients: flour, powdered sugar, and ghee. They are traditionally topped with pistachios, but I've also had them without any nuts and they are just as delicious.
What is ghraybeh?
Ghraybeh is the Middle East's answer to European shortbread cookies. The base of butter, sugar and flour are the same, but the type of ingredients is what makes this cookie much more delicious.
Ghraybeh are slightly sweet and loaded with . The ingredibly smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture is what makes these cookies an enjoyable and unforgettable eating experience.
Flour: For baking, always use the best quality all-purpose flour you can find. Don't substitute with cake or pastry flour, as the texture will become too crumby. Make sure to sift the flour after you weigh it.
Powdered sugar: These delicate cookies require the fine texture of powdered sugar. If you use granulated sugar, you'll lose the smooth, buttery texture. Like the flour, make sure to sift the powdered sugar after you weigh it.
Ghee: Ghee is a type of clarified butter that has been cooked longer to remove all moisture. This results in a richer, nuttier flavour. Use room temperature ghee.
Pistachios: Use fresh, shelled and peeled whole or slivered pistachios. If you can't find peeled pistachios, you can soak shelled pistachios in warm water for about 2 hours and peel them.
You can use a hand mixer, but be prepared for an arm workout!
This recipe won't taste the same without ghee. You can use store-bought or homemade clarified butter if you can't find ghee. You can search YouTube for videos on how to make clarified butter.
Yes! You can store the dough in the fridge for up to four days and in the freezer for up to a month. Simply shape the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and place into the fridge or freezer. When ready to use, bring to room temperature before transferring to a piping bag.
If your ghraybeh cracks, it means you didn't mix it long enough. Transfer the dough back to the stand mixer and mix for a couple more minutes before piping again.
Ghraybeh - Middle Eastern Shortbread Cookies
- stand mixer
- kitchen scale
- 500 g all-purpose flour (about 4 cups)
- 165 g powdered sugar (about 1½ cups)
- 300 g ghee (about 1⅓ cups)
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whisk sugar and flour together until combined.
- Add ghee and beat on low speed for 5 minutes.
- Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 5 minutes.
- Decrease speed and beat for an additional 5 minutes. This brings the total amount of time that you mix the batter to 15 minutes.
- Using a piping bag fitted with round tip, begin piping the dough onto a cookie lined with parchment paper. Make the cookies about 1.5" wide spaced 1.5" inches apart.
- Transfer the tray of cookies to the fridge and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Using a lightly floured finger, gently flatten the tops of each cookie. If topping with pistachios, gently press one into the centre of each cookie.
- Bake for about 16-17 minutes. The cookies will remain an off-white colour and the bottoms shouldn't brown at all. It is important not to overbake the cookies, as they will harden and become crumbly.
- Allow the cookies to rest for about 2 hours before transferring to a serving dish.
- Store cookies at room temperature for up to one month.