Ghraybeh or Lebanese Shortbread Cookies #SundaySupper

We’re exploring Middle Eastern cooking today and these Ghraybeh or Lebanese Shortbread Cookies are a delightful way to end a meal!

Ghraybeh or Lebanese Shortbread Cookies


When I think of Middle Eastern desserts, I conjure up visions of delicate, flaky fillo, orange water or honey infused syrup and lots of nuts. Knowing that two thirds of the current household wouldn’t go for any exotic ingredients, I had a challenge on my hands…till I came up with Graybeh or Graybeh, a Lebanese shortbread cookie.

Simple as can be, browned butter was mixed with powdered sugar, flavored with vanilla and a drop of almond extract, then flour. No eggs, no leavening, no worries.

I used my cookie disher (like a mini-ice cream scoop) and placed mounds on a parchment lined baking sheet, dotted each with a nut and popped them into the oven. So if you love shortbread, these little gems will hit the spot.

Ghraybeh or Lebanese Shortbread Cookies

Baking Tips

A couple notes: Use premium butter. With so few ingredients, a cheapo brand will result in less than spectacular cookies. I used Kerrygold for these.

With the absence of leavening, these cookies will not rise nor spread. Whatever size or shape you place on your baking sheet will be what comes out of your oven.

Also, blanched almonds are one of the typical toppings, but the only blanched almonds I could find were slivered, so I went with the non-blanched version.

Pistachios are another option…I think I munched on many more than made their way onto the cookies. And, by the way, if your hubby or children aren’t fan of nuts, you can do as Mr. Skinny Chick did. Remove the nut and pop into your mouth. Swallow and repeat.

Thanks to my friend, Amanda, of MarocMama, for hosting #SundaySupper this week, and to Norma, of Allspice and Nutmeg, for inspiring me with her recipe! Scroll down to see all the exotic fare from the Middle East featured today!

Ghraybeh or Shortbread Cookies

Serves 2-3 dozen cookies     adjust servings

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins

Recipe from Allspice and Nutmeg


  • 1 cup butter, browned
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 3/4-2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 drop almond extract (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 300º.
  2. Cook the butter in saucepan on medium-low until the butter is a golden color.
  3. Remove from the heat and let cool about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour the powdered sugar into a large bowl and add the butter. With a hand mixer on low mix until it’s combined and the sugar is dissolved. Mix in the vanilla
  5. Turn off the mixer and add the flour a little at a time stirring till it forms a ball.
  6. Form balls of dough and press an almond in the top if desired on parchment lined surface.
  7. Bake 13-15 minutes on parchment lined baking sheets, they shouldn't brown. Cool very well before removing from baking sheet.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 1360kcal Calories from fat 839
% Daily Value
Total Fat 93g 143%
Saturated Fat 58g 290%
Transfat 4g
Cholesterol 244mg 81%
Sodium 16mg 1%
Carbohydrate 120g 40%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 30g
Protein 13g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g
Did you make this recipe?
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1 review

More Middle Eastern Recipes:

Mezze {Appetizers}

Salata {Salads and Sides}


Halwa {Desserts}

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Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement?  You can find more information and sign up by clicking here —> Sunday Supper Movement



  1. These look so simple and so good, There is a Lebanese pastry shop round the corner from me and they have these. Now I can make some!

  2. They sound like they’d be great with a cup of coffee! I’ve been looking for a cookie that can be rolled out that won’t puff at all so words can be stamped in it… This might work:@)

  3. I do love shortbread, Liz! And I love your win-win nut removal system =)

    P.s. You are definitely an important “influencer.” Next time I’m at the market I’ll probably pick up Kerrygold butter!

  4. Just the thought of brown butter in these is enough for me! And where is my cookie disher?! Another gadget to add to my drawers!

  5. How easy, yet I’m sure delicious. I’ll have to try these!

  6. Warm and seasonally delicious-looking!! Love this.

  7. These cookies are a favorite in our family, and I agree with using the best butter you can find. I’ve sometimes had problems with them flattening out too much, but a quick 5-10 min in the freezer before the oven can help with that.

  8. These look delicious. Thanks for the recipe and the tip with the butter.

  9. Hmmm – roll on afternoon tea with these treats! No buts, it’s gotta be good butter, browned and nutty. Love it, Liz.

  10. Lizzy Look delicious!!! have a nice Sunday dear!

  11. It looks simple enough ! Can’t resist shortbread especially the Scottish one 😀 These Lebanese version look just as tasty .

  12. I have no experience with Middle Eastern desserts so this is a new one to me and they look delicious!! Pinning for a later day!

  13. These look like the perfect snack with a fresh cup of coffee Liz. I am a shortbread nut so I’m in!

  14. I am hoping you could ship me some of these…. they looks amazing and perfect with an afternoon cup of coffee.

  15. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time says:

    I grew up on these cookies and absolutely LOVE them! Thanks for the little walk down memory lane.

  16. How delicious. I love shortbread cookies, they are some of my all time favorites

  17. Good butter does make such a difference, doesn’t it? Particularly in something like shortbread. These cookies look wonderful! Really such a nice recipe. Thanks so much.

  18. Oh these sounds wonderful!! I love shortbread, browned butter, almonds… win win!!!

  19. These look great! Shortbread cookies are my favorite 😉

  20. I love your version with almond instead of pistachios! Great recipe, thanks for sharing.

  21. Simple and good, Liz! Shortbread cookies are the best!

  22. I love how easy and delicious these are. So warm and will be perfect with any tea break!

  23. I’m such a fan of any type of shortbread cookie. Ones with brown butter are even better. Great recipe to share for this event.

  24. Yum Liz, from the shortbread queen – these look and sound wonderful. Shortbread with brown butter? That just sounds crazy good!

  25. I love shortbread, what a treat with the brown butter!

  26. Lizzy,
    These look delicious. I wouldn’t have guessed these were Middle Eastern either. Pinning.

  27. These cookies look and sound absolutely delicious!

  28. Hotly Spiced says:

    I’ve made some similar cookies but they weren’t Middle Eastern. It was a NZ recipe! And I used blanched almonds but they look quite pretty with natural almonds xx

  29. Lizzy, Your cookies came out great! Ghraybeh are melt in your mouth delicious. I grew up on these wonderful cookies!

  30. I love shortbreads of any kind. You can’t go wrong with buttery cookies and almonds!

  31. Swallow and repeat. That is what I’d be doing. FOR SURE!

  32. These shortbread cookies look so soft, delicious!

  33. I love middle eastern cookies, they are so good. These shortbread cookies looks so nice.

  34. I love ethnic recipes and this one looks fantastic.

  35. I am a fan of shortbread cookies. These look simple yet very tasty.

  36. So few ingredients, but so many flavors. Love these!

  37. I love simple shortbread cookies and these brown butter ones look incredible and so pretty!

  38. I’m having a baking day with my brother today, and thinking of trying this one out for sure. It looks pretty simple, so even I shouldn’t be able to mess this one up. Fingers crossed…

  39. A shortbread cookie made with browned butter? I am in! Those look great, Liz!

  40. Liz you did an amazing job considering your, ahum, household restrictions 😉 Totally right about using the best ingredients in such a recipe.

  41. Beautiful cookies! Can you imagine having these ready for a cookie exchange? Perfect.

  42. Browned butter – never think to use that. Such pretty cookies! They sound delectable – good job with figuring out what the family will like.

  43. Shortbread is the best! I’ve never heard of ghraybeh cookies, and we have two versions this week on #SS. So now I really have to make them. I agree that Kerrygold butter would shine here!

  44. I’ve heard of Kerrygold before but never used it. Guess it’s time to break into ye old piggybank!

  45. This is my favorite theme yet for Sunday supper. I have about 20 new recipes to try…including these cookies!

  46. Easy and delicious cookies! Storing these in my cookie monster file!

  47. Fabulous cookies!! I love your comment about cheapo butter… LOL!

  48. So simple, I love it! I don’t bake that often, but I’m definitely making these this month!

  49. Mr. & Mrs. P says:

    What a nice version of shorbread cookies!! Love it!

  50. What a lovely treat for any moment in the day !

  51. I followed this recipe exactly. I did add the almond and vanilla extract just before the flour as that step was omitted in the instructions. Still, these did not turn out like I expected. They have a very weird texture. The Lebanese cookies I grew up on are crunchy. These didn’t taste that bad but something is not right about this recipe. Maybe softened butter instead of browned? and granulated sugar vs confectioners.

    • Thanks for your feedback, John. I have never tasted the authentic recipe, so I’m not sure about the texture. Maybe baking them a little longer would give you a crisper texture. I’ll double check the instructions with my source and edit to get the vanilla added in (you put it in at the proper spot).


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