Those Incredible Butter Cookies, Ghraybeh!

Published June 14, 2018

Those Incredible Butter Cookies, Graybeh, can be found in the ovens of Syrian cooks, on the dessert tables of Lebanese hosts and on my Sitto’s serving plates so long ago. This simple butter cookie, is known throughout the Middle East, but in Aleppo, we have perfected it! Here in our own country, you may have found that every Middle Eastern bakery has a version of Ghraybeh. The difference is that if you take a bite of this melt-in-your-mouth Syrian sweet, you’ll agree that those bakeries produce nowhere near the humble kitchen creations made by our Syrian home bakers. This unique cookie has been made by Syrian bakers for hundreds of years!

When I first learned how to make this cookie, I was amazed that there were just three ingredients, clarified butter, flour and sugar. Looking over the recipe, one can surmise that it will be a snap to make. Over the years, I’ve learned that so many bakers have found them challenging, either by adding too much flour because they won’t roll or more butter, because the dough seemed dry, or simply giving up and making a cookie that is harder or firmer than it should be. But if you follow the instructions to a T, you’ll find they are perfect and perfectly delicious! This recipe on page 130 of Sitto’s Kitchen II Cookbook will guide you to this famous cookie recipe loved all over Syria!