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Delicate, buttery shortbread cookies, a special occasion treats in many middle eastern countries.

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Ghraybeh [ghray-beh] or ghreybey is a soft middle eastern butter cookie garnished with pistachios, and it is also referred to sometimes as a sugar cookie or wedding cakes. It is so soft and delicious, due to its abundance in butter ghee and powder sugar, has a distinctive smooth taste that melts in your mouth in seconds.

It is popular in many Middle Eastern countries, especially in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, and the Gulf region. It is also popular in Turkey, Morocco and Greece.

To make Ghraybeh, the dough is first prepared by creaming butter ghee (sometimes use half butter half margarine) with powder sugar, mix in flour and a hint of rosewater or orange blossom water, but you can add vanilla if you like. Small pieces of dough are then cut and rolled by hand to form circular shapes. Whole pistachio pieces are added for garnish, and the dough is baked on medium temperature for 10 minutes. They must remain pale, almost white, to keep their delicious taste and tender.

The cookies come in many shapes – rounds, crescents, diamonds, or S shapes.
It is a cookie best served with coffee or tea.

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Ghraybey_Middle Eastern Butter Cookies

1/2 cup sugar confectioner
1/2 cup butter
about 1 1/4 cup sifted cake flour, you may need more
1\2 teaspoon rosewater or orange blossom water(optional)
almonds, pistachios, or pine nuts

Cream the butter and beat in the sugar for about 3-4 min. Until it is smooth cream, add the rosewater.
Gradually, mix in the flour, with hands, mix well until combined, the dough should be soft and pliable when shaped into a ball. If required add 1 -2 tablespoon of flour.
Cover the dough and let rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour. heat the oven to 300 f.

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Take a small amount of the dough, the size of walnut, roll in your hands and shape into a ball, then flatten slightly with your balm, in the middle press a pistachio nut into the dough. Arrange them on a baking sheet a little apart from each other bake for 10 min.

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Do not let them overcook, they must remain white. Let them cool completely before you try to move them.

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