Ghraybeh- Lebanese Butter Cookies

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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.

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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.

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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

The Nitty-Gritty

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.

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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.

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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.

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Enjoy!

Facebook Comments:

24 Responses to “Ghraybeh- Lebanese Butter Cookies”
  1. Roula 20 December 2009 at 6:38 pm #

    Yami! We just had some this morning. We always buy them from Bohsali!

  2. Colloquial Cook 20 December 2009 at 6:38 pm #

    This cookie cutter is *insane* [says the girl who owns a diplodocus cookie cutter].

  3. Paul - GetMeCooking 20 December 2009 at 6:39 pm #

    I’d put on a Santa costume and impersonate him just to get my hands on some of these cookies. They look yummy!

  4. Chris Bourne 20 December 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    These sweet nibbles are indeed delicious!

  5. Pierre h. 20 December 2009 at 7:02 pm #

    Nice one beta!

  6. Mowie 20 December 2009 at 7:08 pm #

    Lovely cookie cutter honey, never had ghraybeh before. And I’m absolutely *loving* the pink Christmas tree decorations =) xxx

  7. Kitchen Butterfly 20 December 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    Beth….we have to talk. Seriously….how good are these??????????????????????????????? For Santa? Should be for OZ

  8. Sarah, Maison Cupcake 20 December 2009 at 8:32 pm #

    I love your Santa Hat cookie cutter, that’s brilliant!
    I’ve not made cookies with semolina, I’ll have to raid my local Turkish store for the orange flower water. xx

  9. Daily Spud 20 December 2009 at 8:35 pm #

    Fabulous! I don’t have any orange blossom water but I do have some rose water and I’m tempted to try that… I’ve also just bought a huge set of cookie cutters which are just itching to be used :)

  10. Nic 20 December 2009 at 8:52 pm #

    Very cute, and delicious too!

  11. Trissa 20 December 2009 at 9:18 pm #

    The first picture, with the Christmas tree in the background and the cookies looks gorgeous. Thank you for sharing this recipe – I am quite tired of making the same cookies every year – what a great idea to have a cooking with orange blossom water and semolina. It must taste fantastic.

  12. George@CulinaryTravels 20 December 2009 at 10:24 pm #

    I’m not surprised you had trouble resisting eating the batter, anything with orange blossom water and semolina is bound to be gorgeous.

  13. sarah 20 December 2009 at 11:20 pm #

    Interesting cookie cutters are such a boon. I have some numbers (since I’m a maths teacher) and heart, diamonds, spades, and clubs, as well as a set of six different heart shapes.

    Where do you buy orange blossom water? And what do you use the rest of the bottle for?

    • Bethany 21 December 2009 at 11:26 am #

      Thanks everyone!

      Hey Sarah. Orange blossom water can be found in any Middle Eastern shop! I use it a lot- in rice puddings, chocolate truffles, syrups etc. It’s very versatile. I hope you decide to give it a go as I believe you will truly enjoy it :)

  14. Meeta 21 December 2009 at 7:55 am #

    Beth – I know these well and melt in your mouth is too true. I was unaware they were made with semolina too. Nice one!

  15. The Cooking Ninja 21 December 2009 at 10:58 am #

    I was literally salivating over your cookies on my screen. They look so good … wish I can just pick one out of my screen and chomp it.

  16. Alessio 21 December 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    With the semolina you can really see the sun being mixed in with the dough. Very interesting recipe, might try it with my family once I will be back in Sicily :-)

  17. deeba 21 December 2009 at 4:01 pm #

    WOW Beth …. these are exotic & gorgeous! Love the semolina in there!

  18. Muneeba 22 December 2009 at 2:02 pm #

    Mmmmmmmmm, love the orange blossom water in there … these look so delicate … like they’d melt on my tongue! Yummmm!

  19. Heavenly Housewife 22 December 2009 at 2:59 pm #

    Hi there, I loved the idea of this recipe. I am going to be making them today. I was just wondering, would you mind if I used this recipe on my blog (I would be linking back to you, of course)?
    *kisses* HH
    p.s. You have a fab blog, just discovered it. you and i have a lot in common. I am also a girl from FL living in the UK who is half middle eastern. We should compare notes sometime ;).

  20. Jeanne 23 December 2009 at 2:27 pm #

    Oh how adorable – i *love* that cookie cutter! These sound fantastic (and between you and me, I ALWAYS fail to resist the batter when I’m baking!)

  21. tasteofbeirut 27 December 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    Those look lovely Beth! I wish I could say that I am crazy about ghraybeh cookies, but the truth is I find the ones in the stores too sweet ; I might try your recipe someday, I have never made them with both semolina and flour.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Ghraybeh- Lebanese Butter Cookies | Dirty Kitchen Secrets -- Topsy.com - December 21, 2009

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bethany Kehdy, Sarah Trivuncic. Sarah Trivuncic said: RT @dksfood Ghraybeh- Lebanese Butter Cookies http://bit.ly/8npztn > Santa Hat cookies, brilliant! [...]

  2. uberVU - social comments - December 21, 2009

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ibfoodie2: RT @dksfood: New Recipe: Ghraybeh or Lebanese butter cookies in santa hat shapes…http://bit.ly/8PwPVq

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