Arabian Gulf Shortbread Cookies (Ghiraybah)
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.
- Ready In:
- 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
- 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.
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Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I first had these cookies when they were given to me as a gift from Masri Sweets. I fell in love with their delicateness, their texture, they are perfect with a cup of coffee or tea. I have an American shortbread cookie recipe that I've made for years, but these were so much better. After searching online, I found your recipe, and they are wonderful. Here are mine that I made today (I shaped them like Masri did, though). Thanks so much, this recipe will become a staple! Happy new year to you!Reply
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.<br/>Thanks a lot Umm for your recipe.1Reply