Arabian Gulf Shortbread Cookies (Ghiraybah)

Recipe by UmmBinat
READY IN: 55mins
SERVES: 35-40


  • 1
    cup clarified butter (samneh, I have always used just sweet butter without clarifying)
  • 1
    cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 12
  • blanched slivered almond, to garnish (loz)
  • additional icing sugar, for dusting


  • 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.
  • If need be, chill samneh or butter in refrigerator if too soft. (It should be somewhat soft just not very soft)
  • Put samneh in mixing bowl and beat until light. Gradually add sifted icing sugar, beating until very creamy and light.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Enjoy!