Ghraybeh Cookies

5 from 40 votes

Simple to make with only a few ingredients, these Ghraybeh shortbread cookies are made with rosewater and filled with jam for a tasty treat.

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This Ghraybeh Shortbread Cookies recipe post is sponsored by Cortas, although the content represents my own personal opinion and experience using the product.

Made with only three ingredients for the base, Ghraybeh (also called ghorayba or graybeh) is a popular Middle Eastern shortbread cookie with a smooth and buttery texture, and delicate, sweet flavor. I’m giving the recipe some flare by adding Cortas Rose Water in the batter, and topping it off with a dollop of Cortas Apricot Jam.

Large plate for ghraybeh shortbread cookies with pistachios on the side

Ingredients & substitutions

  • All purpose flour: Don’t substitute with cake flour, gluten free flour or self-rising flour. All purpose gives the cookies the best texture without them becoming too soft with cake flour or too crumbly with self-rising flour.
  • Butter: Use unsalted softened butter, but make sure it is not melted. Salted butter will throw off the taste. You can substitute with ghee, but do not melt it.
  • Powdered sugar: The light consistency of powdered or confectioners sugar is best for mixing with the butter to create a buttercream frosting. You won’t get the right texture if you use granulated sugar. And you would get too much moisture and the wrong color on the cookies if you use brown sugar.
  • Cortas Rose Water: While this is not part of the traditional recipe, try adding just a teaspoon of rose water to the butter and powdered sugar for a quintessential Middle Eastern flavor. I use Cortas because it’s pure and natural without any chemicals. It’s actually made by steeping rose petals with water to get that distinctive aromatic flavor that’s not too overpowering. Cortas is actually the industry standard for their flower-based products!
  • Toppings: While it’s traditional to add pistachios in the middle, you can also try this version with jam. Apricots are widely grown in Lebanon where Cortas products are produced. Their Apricot Jam is made with 100% Lebanese apricots, which are freshly harvested in their peak season.
Ingredients to make the recipe

How to make Ghraybeh

  1. Place the butter and powdered in a bowl.
  2. Cream together with a hand or stand mixer and mix in the rose water.
  3. Add in the flour and combine. It helps to use your hands for mixing.
  4. Chill the dough to solidify the butter.
4 image collage to show how to make the cookie dough for ghraybeh
  • Roll the dough into balls and make an indent in the center of each one.
  • Fill the indent with jam and bake.
2 image collage to show the cookies with thumbnail imprint in the middle and then jam added

Tips for making the recipe well

  1. Be careful not to over mix the dough after adding the flour. You want to make sure there are no flour streaks and that you can form a dough ball with your fingers easily without seeing cracks. But, if you overmix, it can dry out the texture.
  2. Chill the dough for an hour before forming the dough balls. This will help them hold better together so they are not crumbly to the touch. This also allows the cookies to maintain their shape and not spread too much in the oven.
  3. Make sure the ghraybeh doesn’t brown in the oven. After baking in the oven, the cookie with lightly expand, but the color essentially stays the same and may look underbaked.
  4. Don’t skip the cooling process. Allow them to cool in the baking sheet. This will help them retain their structure since the cookies have a very delicate consistency.
  5. Shape them into a log. Instead of making small dough balls, you can also form the ghraybeh cookie batter into a long long and then slice it into 24 pieces.
Plate of ghraybeh cookies with jam in the middle with of the cookies cut in half to show texture

Frequently asked questions

How long do they keep?

Since these cookies are eggless, they will last longer than traditional cookies made with eggs. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Can I bake the cookies from frozen?

Yes, these are great to make in advance and store in the freezer until ready to bake. Shape the cookies and place on a baking sheet. When frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer safe bag or container for up to one month. When ready to bake, there’s no need to thaw. Just bake as directed and add an additional 2-3 minutes of baking time.

Can you use other jams?

I love to make these with apricot jam because I find that its flavor works so well with the delicate flavor of the rose water. However, you can use any jam that’s your favorite. Strawberry works great, as does blueberry or raspberry.

Ghraybeh cookies on a plate with bottle of Cortas rose water and Apricot Jam from Cortas

These Ghraybeh shortbread cookies are such a delicious treat and they are so perfect to enjoy during Ramadan and for the Eid. Simple to make and so yummy, I’m sure they will become a family favorite!

More Middle Eastern desserts:

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Ghraybeh recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!

Ghraybeh

Simple to make with only a few ingredients, these Ghraybeh shortbread cookies are made with rosewater and filled with jam for a tasty treat.
5 from 40 votes
Servings 12 servings
Course Dessert, Snack
Calories 294
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • Apricot jam for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl of a stand mixer or using an electric hand mixer, cream together the softened butter and powdered sugar. Add the rose water and beat until dissolved.
  • Add the flour, one cup at a time, and use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to mix until well combined. You may want to use your hands because the dough can feel crumbly. Chill the dough in the fridge for one hour.
  • Divide the dough into 1 ½ tablespoon-sized balls using a spring-loaded scoop or your hands. Makes 20-24 balls.
  • Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet, arranging them so they’re about 2 inches apart.
  • Use your thumb to make an indent in the center of the cookie and add about half a teaspoon of the jam inside.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are firm, slightly expanded and the bottoms are lightly golden.
  • Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Notes

Storage: These cookies will keep well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Freezing Instructions: These are great to make in advance and store in the freezer until ready to bake. Shape the cookies and place on a baking sheet. When frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer safe bag or container for up to one month. When ready to bake, there’s no need to thaw. Just bake as directed and add an additional 2-3 minutes of baking time.
Nutritional Data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use. The nutrition label is meant for about 2 cookies if your batter is divided into 24 cookies.

Nutrition

Calories: 294kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 140mg, Potassium: 40mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 493IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg

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Large plate for ghraybeh shortbread cookies with pistachios on the side

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Comments

  1. I’m sorry but this recipe failed completely for me. I don’t know what went wrong but it was so incredibly crumbly I couldn’t even work with it. I added a little water to help make it pliable but the texture was off afterward. So disappointing, I wanted these for Eid.

    1. Awww, I’m so sorry to hear that! It does start out pretty crumbly but if you use your hands, it comes together really easily. Did you use softened butter instead of melted butter? Did you use all purpose flour and not self-rising flour? I’m trying to think if what else could have went wrong because I would love for you to try these for the Eid!

      1. Yes! I used both of those things, softened butter and AP flour. I let it chill overnight, and then let it rest for a while before I start to work with it hoping that the flour would’ve hydrated. But it was so crumbly it literally was like a block. I don’t know what went wrong 😞

  2. This is absolutely delicous! I did however have a hard time making them after they came out of the fridge after one hour, i had to actually warm them up by rolling them quite a bit for them to stick together.

    Also, i’ve tried with 3 different jams and found that it really takes a thick one for them not to spill all over and to come out perfect.

    The taste is exquisite! Thank you!!

    1. Thank you so much! It is likely the fridge was much colder, which would require more warming up. That’s a great tip! Thank you!!

  3. These were so easy to make. The only thing I probably added was a 1/4 cup of flour more than what the recipe called for just to get the right consistency. Made them for our Orthodox Easter and everyone loved them!!!

  4. amazing, thank you… i live in kuwait and I love these goodies. can you please let me know the time of baking and the temperature?

    thx

  5. Ok so obviously I made them
    Since they are my fav cookies and I just found out how easy they are to make… the came out soooooo good!!! I will be packing on the pounds 😭😭