If you love buttery cookies like shortbread then you will definitely love these. They are very simple and once you learn to make them, you’ll be making batches every week! They are that good.
These cookies are usually made as Eid treats, and variations are made in the Levant and North Africa, but to me they were extra special because my grandmothers used to make them into the shape of our initials, which made us very happy kids! We loved helping out in the kitchen and this is definitely a recipe simple enough to allow kids to roll up their sleeves and help.
There are only three ingredients in the dough; flour, butter and powdered sugar, and although it is hard to imagine a cookie dough without a raising agent, believe me, these plump up and expand. Because of the high fat content, these cookies have a distinct texture that make them melt in your mouth. They are topped with some sort of nut, usually pine nuts or pistachios, before being popped into the oven for a few minutes.
The key to making ghraibah is to use good quality butter or even vegetable shortening if you have it. The dough is best kept cold, so if your kitchen is too warm, I would suggest putting the dough in the fridge for half an hour or so until the butter firms up. This makes it easier to work with and will ensure the cookies are flaky and crispy.
They are definitely not the healthiest dessert, but who looks for healthy when it comes to dessert? Try them out and see what you think.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup whole pistachios
1.Whip the butter and sugar together until the mixture becomes fluffy and turns a lighter, almost white colour. This can be done in a mixer or by hand.
2.Gradually add in the flour and mix until they combine and become soft dough.
3.Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4.Form the cookies. You can make any shape you like. Try not to make them too big so they cook quicker. Place a pistachio in the middle of each cookie.
5.Bake at 180C or 160C in a fan oven for about 10 minutes, until the cookies harden. They are meant to stay white and not turn golden brown.
6.Enjoy with a cup of coffee or mint tea.