Ghraybeh: Middle Eastern Butter Cookie Recipe
250 g Ghee or Clarified Butter
200 g Powdered Sugar
500 g Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
To make Ghraybeh: Middle Eastern Butter Cookie, you must absolutely use ghee or clarified butter. To begin preparing the dough, sift your flour into a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the room temperature ghee or clarified butter with sifted powdered sugar until it resembles a smooth paste. Slowly add the flour in and mix until the dough forms wet flour that crumbles to touch. Do not be afraid of over-kneading the dough, the lack of moisture does not allow the gluten to start forming.
Cover the dough and let it rest for at least 15 minutes in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 300 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Once your oven is ready, take the dough out of the fridge and knead it until it softens and the consistency resembles that of play dough. Roll the dough into strips and shape them into a teardrop, sealing the tips with a pistachio.
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until they are firm to touch. Some dough will stick to your finger like powder, that is normal. Allow them to cool down and simply enjoy them with tea or coffee. You can use this recipe as a base for thumbprint cookies as I did, using your choice of jam to top them with. I chose orange blossom jam that my mother had brought back with her from Lebanon, and boy was it absolutely delicious.
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**If you are interested in exploring the history of Middle Eastern cuisine, check out this 13th-century book called Scents and Flavors: A Syrian Cookbook.