Traditional Almond Graybeh (Middle Eastern Shortbread Cookie)

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Authorksalman
RatingDifficultyIntermediate

Almond graybeh is a traditional Middle Eastern butter cookie that is delicate, light, pure white and melts in your mouth. Almond graybeh is baked especially for Easter and Christmas. The recipe makes so many cookies (4 dozen!) that it’s perfect for weddings, graduation parties, or anytime you want lots of incredibly delicious cookies to share.

Yields36 Servings
Prep Time1 hrCook Time22 minsTotal Time1 hr 22 mins

 3/4 cup clarified butter, solid/cool room temperature
 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
 1 teaspoon vanilla (you can sub all vanilla, 2 teaspoons total, for the orange blossom water if you like)
 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
 1 3/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour (fluff the flour up before scooping with a spoon into the measuring cup)
 3/4 cup blanched whole almonds

1

Heat the oven to 325 degrees and place the rack in the center of the oven. Line two sheet pans with parchment or a silpat.

2

Using a mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the butter on high speed until fluffy, creamy and pale, about six minutes. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula for even whipping. Add the sugar, orange blossom water, and vanilla and whip until well combined and fluffy.

3

In a small bowl, whisk the flour and salt. On low speed, slowly blend in the flour, ½ cup at a time.

4

To shape the cookies, pull off a heaping teaspoon of dough and roll it between the palms of your hand into a smooth ball. Smoothness is key here to avoiding cracks in the cookies when they're baked. Form balls to fill one sheet pan with them (about an inch and a half apart; they don't need much room to expand).

5

Press an almond into the top of each ball.

6

Bake the cookies for about 22 minutes, or until they are baked through but only ever-so-slightly golden and still pale on the bottom. At about 18 minutes, start checking the cookies by lifting one up with a spatula.

7

Make the remaining cookie balls while the first pan bakes.

8

Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely before handling them, as they will firm up as they cool.

9

The graybeh will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days. They're better eaten soon after they're baked.

Ingredients

 3/4 cup clarified butter, solid/cool room temperature
 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
 1 teaspoon vanilla (you can sub all vanilla, 2 teaspoons total, for the orange blossom water if you like)
 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
 1 3/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour (fluff the flour up before scooping with a spoon into the measuring cup)
 3/4 cup blanched whole almonds

Directions

1

Heat the oven to 325 degrees and place the rack in the center of the oven. Line two sheet pans with parchment or a silpat.

2

Using a mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the butter on high speed until fluffy, creamy and pale, about six minutes. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula for even whipping. Add the sugar, orange blossom water, and vanilla and whip until well combined and fluffy.

3

In a small bowl, whisk the flour and salt. On low speed, slowly blend in the flour, ½ cup at a time.

4

To shape the cookies, pull off a heaping teaspoon of dough and roll it between the palms of your hand into a smooth ball. Smoothness is key here to avoiding cracks in the cookies when they're baked. Form balls to fill one sheet pan with them (about an inch and a half apart; they don't need much room to expand).

5

Press an almond into the top of each ball.

6

Bake the cookies for about 22 minutes, or until they are baked through but only ever-so-slightly golden and still pale on the bottom. At about 18 minutes, start checking the cookies by lifting one up with a spatula.

7

Make the remaining cookie balls while the first pan bakes.

8

Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely before handling them, as they will firm up as they cool.

9

The graybeh will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days. They're better eaten soon after they're baked.

Traditional Almond Graybeh (Middle Eastern Shortbread Cookie)

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