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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Arabian Gulf Shortbread Cookies (Ghiraybah) Recipe
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    Arabian Gulf Shortbread Cookies (Ghiraybah)

    Arabian Gulf Shortbread Cookies (Ghiraybah). Photo by awalde

    1/2 Photos of Arabian Gulf Shortbread Cookies (Ghiraybah)

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    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    55 mins

    30 mins

    25 mins

    UmmBinat's Note:

    Very nice little Middle Eastern shortbread cookies. I like to give these as gifts or make them for tea time. I also make them often for my FIL's diwaniya (men's gathering) to enjoy with their Arabic coffee or tea. Recipe from The Complete Middle East Cookbook by Tess Mallos.

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    Serves: 35-40



    Units: US | Metric

    • 1 cup clarified butter (samneh, I have always used just sweet butter without clarifying)
    • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • blanched slivered almond, to garnish (loz)
    • additional icing sugar, for dusting


    1. 1
      First of all, sifting is an important part which must not be left out or the cookies will not turn out the right texture so be sure you have a sieve.
    2. 2
      If need be, chill samneh or butter in refrigerator if too soft. (It should be somewhat soft just not very soft)
    3. 3
      Put samneh in mixing bowl and beat until light. Gradually add sifted icing sugar, beating until very creamy and light.
    4. 4
      Preheat oven to 325°F.
    5. 5
      Sift flour and fold into butter mixture. Knead lightly until smooth. (Don't overdo it) If kitchen is hot, chill dough in refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
    6. 6
      Roll pieces of dough into balls the size of a walnut and place on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten slightly. Flour hand lightly if necessary. Top half or all with a slivered almond. (I like to do half with the nuts and half with the dusting of icing sugar after cooled).
    7. 7
      Bake in the preheated moderately slow oven for 20-25 minutes until very lightly coloured. Cool on baking sheets. Dust the other half without the almond slivers with icing sugar. (Makes for a pretty presentation of the mixed biscuits on a platter) then remove. These are very delicate biscuits and must be handled carefully.
    8. 8

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on April 25, 2012


      Very simple and delicate. I used a real good quality margarine. Baking time was 22 minutes using a convection oven. I will give those to my husband as "secret sweets" for him at work. I know that he will appreciate this. Prepared in a small present box will be very cute for sure.
      Thanks a lot Umm for your recipe.

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    • on March 07, 2012


      Very easily prepared little biscuits, lovely with coffee! We put on slivered almonds AND sifted icing sugar! Baked perfectly, a pleasure to make. Thank you UmmBinat, a very nice recipe, made for PRMR tag game.

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    • on January 27, 2012


      These were delicate melt in your mouth cookies.Delicious.They went perfectly with cardamom black tea.Made with unbleached whole wheat flour and toasted almonds.

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    Nutritional Facts for Arabian Gulf Shortbread Cookies (Ghiraybah)

    Serving Size: 1 (19 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 35

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 92.3
    Calories from Fat 48
    Total Fat 5.3 g
    Saturated Fat 3.3 g
    Cholesterol 13.9 mg
    Sodium 0.9 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 10.2 g
    Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
    Sugars 3.3 g
    Protein 0.9 g

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