Ghraybeh are Lebanese butter cookies laced wonderfully with orange blossom flower then individually adorned by a piece of almond, pistachio or a pine nut. They are usually made into either S shapes, diamond shapes and most often shaped into wreath- like shapes where the ends are sealed together with a nut of choice. They are very delicate and melt in your mouth.
Ghraybeh cookies are served around the holidays and are delicious with a cup of tea or coffee. I wanted to try something different, so I decided to cut them into Santa hat shapes and make them thinner than usual. They are extremely moreish and I even had trouble resisting the batter.
Ghraybeh- Lebanese Butter Cookies
The Cast of Characters
- 150g semolina
- 150g all-purpose flour
- 150g sugar
- 175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1.5 tablespoons or about 25ml orange blossom water
Begin by whipping the butter till fluffy for about 1 minute. Next add the sugar and the orange blossom water and whip till all incorporated.
Mix the semolina and flour together in a separate bowl. Then begin adding this mixture a little at a time till it is all incorporated and the cookie dough formed. It should be soft and very delicate. Cover and place it in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
Once it has been chilled, roll out the dough on a clean work surface using a rolling pin. I rolled them to 1/2 inch thickness.
Then take your cookie cutter/s of choice, and begin cutting them into shapes. Gently insert one pistachio into each cookie. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and bake in a pre-heated oven 325F/160C/3G for about 10 minutes. Make sure they don’t go brown as the white colour is essential. Remove and let them cool up to 30 minutes before trying to remove them. If you do so when they are still warm you run the chance of them falling apart.