Bethany Kehdy

A Champion of Middle Eastern Food & Recipes

Ghraybeh- Lebanese Butter Cookies

Ghraybeh-Lebanese Sugar Cookies

Ghraybeh are Lebanese butter cookies laced wonderfully with orange blossom flower then individually adorned by a piece of almond, pistachio or a pine nut. They are usually made into either S shapes, diamond shapes and most often shaped into wreath- like shapes where the ends are sealed together with a nut of choice.  They are very delicate and melt in your mouth.

Ghraybeh-Lebanese Sugar Cookies

Ghraybeh cookies are served around the holidays and are delicious with a cup of tea or coffee. I wanted to try something different, so I decided to cut them into Santa hat shapes and make them thinner than usual. They are extremely moreish and I even had trouble resisting the batter.

Lebanese Butter Cookies (Ghraybeh)
  • 150g semolina
  • 150g all-purpose flour
  • 150g sugar
  • 175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1.5 tablespoons or about 25ml orange blossom water
  1. Begin by whipping the butter till fluffy for about 1 minute. Next add the sugar and the orange blossom water and whip till all incorporated.
  2. Mix the semolina and flour together in a separate bowl. Then begin adding this mixture a little at a time till it is all incorporated and the cookie dough formed. It should be soft and very delicate. Cover and place it in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
  3. Once it has been chilled, roll out the dough on a clean work surface using a rolling pin. I rolled them to ½ inch thickness.
  4. Then take your cookie cutter/s of choice, and begin cutting them into shapes. Gently insert one pistachio into each cookie. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and bake in a pre-heated oven 325F/160C/3G for about 10 minutes. Make sure they don’t go brown as the white colour is essential. Remove and let them cool up to 30 minutes before trying to remove them. If you do so when they are still warm you run the chance of them falling apart.


22 thoughts on “Ghraybeh- Lebanese Butter Cookies

  1. Fabulous! I don’t have any orange blossom water but I do have some rose water and I’m tempted to try that… I’ve also just bought a huge set of cookie cutters which are just itching to be used 🙂

  2. The first picture, with the Christmas tree in the background and the cookies looks gorgeous. Thank you for sharing this recipe – I am quite tired of making the same cookies every year – what a great idea to have a cooking with orange blossom water and semolina. It must taste fantastic.

    1. Thanks everyone!

      Hey Sarah. Orange blossom water can be found in any Middle Eastern shop! I use it a lot- in rice puddings, chocolate truffles, syrups etc. It’s very versatile. I hope you decide to give it a go as I believe you will truly enjoy it 🙂

  3. With the semolina you can really see the sun being mixed in with the dough. Very interesting recipe, might try it with my family once I will be back in Sicily 🙂

  4. Hi there, I loved the idea of this recipe. I am going to be making them today. I was just wondering, would you mind if I used this recipe on my blog (I would be linking back to you, of course)?
    *kisses* HH
    p.s. You have a fab blog, just discovered it. you and i have a lot in common. I am also a girl from FL living in the UK who is half middle eastern. We should compare notes sometime ;).

  5. Oh how adorable – i *love* that cookie cutter! These sound fantastic (and between you and me, I ALWAYS fail to resist the batter when I’m baking!)

  6. Those look lovely Beth! I wish I could say that I am crazy about ghraybeh cookies, but the truth is I find the ones in the stores too sweet ; I might try your recipe someday, I have never made them with both semolina and flour.

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