Friday 26 September 2014

Ghoreyeba {Arabic Butter Cookies}

Oh how quickly time has flown by!

When I initially wrote this I thought Eid was on Sunday,...but in North America I think it is supposed to be October 4th?

Shows how much I know! is coming up!

Today I am sharing a treat I baked for Eid called Ghoreyeba (whar-ay-ibb-ah) cookies that are traditional in the Middle East especially for Eid!

There is nothing I have in my mental database of cookies that compares to these. Ghoreyeba are a very delicate cookie that melt in your mouth. They are so incredible smooth and soft with a lingering aftertaste that soothes the soul.

They are not hard or crunchy, they are firm enough to move around without breaking but that centre? Oh lawd, you better prepare yourself for the velvet smooth buttery texture!

These are made without eggs and only need a few simple ingredients. Traditionally you would use pistachios or almonds on top but I had neither of those on hand...(are you shocked? I am shocked, too!) so I used pecans.

Nothing reminds me more of my family than these cookies. I was beyond thrilled to be able to make these for Eid. And if you have the ingredients handy, which if you are a human person, why wouldn't you? Then there is no logical reason for you not to make these...right now.

No. Logical. Reason. GO! I even have the recipe for you!

Ghoreyeba {Arabic Butter Cookies} 

Adapted from 'Cookies for Christmas' 

Yields 30 cookies

Egg Free


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/8th teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar plus extra for dusting 
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or rose water
  • 30 pecan halves, pistachios or almonds 


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit 
  2. Sift together flour and baking powder in a medium bowl
  3. In a large bowl cream icing sugar, butter and vanilla/rose water 
  4. Add flour mixture to butter mixture until you have a dough -- if your dough becomes very crumbly do not panic -- simply use your hands to press it together into a cohesive dough 
  5. Taking one tablespoon of dough at a time, roll the dough ball into a large snake and wrap it around in a spiral and place it on your baking sheet (these do not spread at all but leave a little bit of room just in case)
  6. Press your nut of choice on top of each cookie before baking 
  7. Bake for 12- 15 minutes until cookies are fully set and spring to the touch
  8. Transfer to a wire cooling rack until cookies have cooled
  9. Optional step: Dust cookies with additional icing sugar to add sweetness 
  10. Package in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 1 week 

A very simple and straight forward recipe = the most delicate delicious cookies! I will bet these will surprise and impress whoever you make them for!

My mom definitely got nostalgic when I made these cookies the few days before Eid. And it really made me happy to be able to recreate something that meant a lot to her.

And it meant a lot to me that my mom let me have the entire kitchen for a wild party....for one. Of myself...baking...... Which actually was a lot of fun. YOU DON'T KNOW ME!

And a cookie pile!!!!

You can see the pile of icing sugar after my many attempts to stack cookies....

And here they are in all their naturally lit glory. With these beautiful paper straws I got from this amazing website! I also bought some other fun eco-friendly things.

There you have it. You can officially have a Middle Eastern cookie in your repertoire! Unless you already have several, by which case you need to share them with me! Traditionally these are not dusted with icing sugar -- other Arabic cookies like Kaak are but I thought these looked really beautiful with some icing sugar and they aren't an overly sweet cookie so it worked out least I think so! And Mama B gave them 5 hundred* stars!

*this is an estimate

Happy Baking!


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