Home » Cookies » Ghraybeh Middle Eastern Butter Cookies

Ghraybeh Middle Eastern Butter Cookies

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 served in a plate.

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.

Over head shot of butter cookies ghraybeh.

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.

Soft and melt in your mouth ghraybeh cookies.

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

Maamoul Cookies

Basbousa

Luqaimat

Kunafa

Ghraybeh cookie cut in half showing fine crumbs.

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.

Close up image of ghorayebah cookies.

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.

Traditional Middle Eastern butter cookies, Ghraybeh is a delicate, delicious cookie that melts in your mouth. Watch the video in the post to learn how to make this delight!

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17 Comments

  1. These look so moist!! I would probably eat 4 or 5 in one go! haha!

  2. These look amazing! I am an absolute sucker for butter cookies.

  3. When I was a kid, we used to make very similar cookies, but they had chocolate in the middle. I bet these taste very similar!

  4. katrina Kroeplin

    those look really good. i’ll have to try and make them

  5. Meki (Redefinin Us)

    Wow! I tried many types of cookies and this looks delicious! A new taste and a must try! Thank you so much for sharing full recipe and tips!

  6. I am part middle eastern so I am super curious about these cookies! You can’t go wrong with butter cookies, so I’ll try it out the recipe asap!

    • Arinacooking

      These are amazing buttery and melt in your mouth cookies If you follow the video the cookies will come out great!

  7. Nnniiiicccceeeee…no milk! That is exactly what I was looking out for. I will be making myself a plate of these soon.

  8. I live in the middle east and I love these cookies from time to time. It was nice to see how to make them.

  9. what is it about a great butter cookie? thankfully your recipe doesn’t require overnight refrigeration.

  10. Kuntala Bhattacharya

    The cookies look so fresh and delicious. I have to try out, still hesitant in trying out cookies though I love baking a lot.

  11. I want to try Ghraybeh Middle Eastern Butter Cookies. It sounds so yummy! Can’t wait to bake it.

  12. These look perfect! I love butter cookies. And I would follow your suggestion to add cardamom for perfect flavor!

  13. I love these cookies! We used to have them during Diwali (nankhatai) I have made these 2 times and both times they come out flat. I am going to follow your recipe. Lets hope it comes out well. How are you, long time. Hope you are doing good.

    have a great day!