This is the story of a small round buttery & crumbly cookie known as ''ghraybeh'', pronounced 'gh-ray-bay'...just as it reads.
Ghraybeh is a sweet speciality well known in the Middle East, particularly Levant countries such as Syria and Lebanon. But it's one of those cookies I've always bought yet never thought of making at home. They are one of my all time favourites- something highly addictive about their soft almost silky-like angelic outer surface which with the first bite, melts into your mouth and transforms itself into a sensational rich texture which simultaneously just seems to evaporate into sweet crumbleness leaving a dreamy orange-blossom perfume on your tastebuds. It's a magical cookie indeed.
And what's even more magical about it is that it's made of three base ingredients- and can be adapted for vegans too.
Make them, share them... but I dare you to try resisting them!
Recipe for Ghraybeh (makes about 30 pieces)
150gr clarified butter
150gr icing sugar
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
Pistachios, almonds or pinenuts for decoration
Extra icing sugar on the side
Mix the butter, sugar and orange blossom water together until frothy and of a light colour. Add the flour, mix and then mix by hand for 5 minutes. Place dough in fridge for 30 mins. Preheat oven to 180C, shape little balls (about half the size of a golf ball) and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Top each ghraybeh ball with a piece of pistachio, almond or pinenut. Bake for 15-20mins, remove, and roll baked cookies in icing sugar (this is optional, but it adds even more magic!). Otherwise, remove, let cool and enjoy!