Monday, December 23, 2013

Lebanese Pistachio Shortbread Cookies ~ Ghraybeh

Lebanese Pistachio Shortbread Cookies ~ Ghraybeh

Are you ready for another Christmas cookie?  Tis the season!  I’ve been baking all week, trying to get my cookies done, so that I could send a box to my son in Atlanta.  His request, this year, was for cookies that I have been making all of his life.  Family favorites for a few generations. How could I say no?  I did add a new cookie to the mix this year!  It’s for Pistachio Shortbread Rings. This is a cookie that I saw a few years ago, on a blog by my friend Jumana@Taste of Beirut.  One of my favorite blogs!

 Melt in your mouth goodness!!
The Lebanese name for these lovely cookies is “Ghraybeh" (gray-beh). This recipe is a pistachio version of the traditional Lebanese cookie. The difference being, crushed pistachios are added to the dough. They are delicate, buttery shortbread cookies. Although Ghraybeh is a Lebanese cookie, you will find them served in many middle eastern countries. From your first bite, you will love them. They are melt-in-your-mouth goodness!  Hope you’ll give them a try!

Tomorrow night, Santa will be coming to our house!  My daughter and her family will be staying here over the Christmas holiday. There is nothing quite as wonderful as the excitement of little children as they go to bed dreaming of Santa, reindeers and the gifts they wished for! From our house to yours Wishing you all a Blessed Christmas, and Peace and Happiness in the New Year!

Ghraybeh is a traditional butter cookie from the middle east…these are a bit different than the ones that I ate while growing up.  Ours were made without the pistachios….these are incredible!

Pistachio Shortbread Rings (Ghraybeh w-fustok)
Adapted from Taste of Beirut

1 3/4 cups of flour
1/3 cup of cornstarch
1 1/2  cups of peeled and chopped pistachios
3/4 cup of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of unsalted butter, very soft

Cream the butter in a mixer for a few minutes until all smooth; add the sugar gradually. Add the vanilla sugar or extract.
Add the flour and cornstarch mixture to the sugar and butter mixture, gradually as well. Mix well for one minute and when the dough is formed and is shiny and firm (add a bit more flour if it is too wet, one tablespoon at a time), add the chopped pistachios and mix well throughout; cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest in a cool place or the fridge for one hour.
Take lumps of dough with a cookie scoop and form little sticks of about 5 inches in length; join them at both ends and set on a parchment-lined cookie sheet; dab a tiny bit of chopped pistachios on the cookie ring if desired. Bake in a preheated 325F oven till the cookie is firm, for about 15 minutes. It will firm up more as it cools. The bottom of the cookies will be golden and the top whitish. Cool and serve or keep in a tin box for several days and up to one week or so.

From Our House to Yours….Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


  1. Your house look beautiful! merry Christmas dear Kathy!!!xxx

  2. Kathy, the cookies look and sound wonderful! Wish I knew about these earlier. I'm bookmarking for a later date. You have a beautiful home - love all the wreaths in the windows. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  3. I make butterballs with ground pistachios, and this recipe with cornstarch sounds sensational. I'm dying to try them, as I'm sure I will love them!. Have an amazing Christmas week surrounded by your loved ones Kathy!

  4. I know I should be excited about the cookies, Kathy but, I just can't help jumping for joy knowing your majestic home will be filled with family, loved ones and children! Just perfect:)

    Your cookies, of course, look delectable too:)

    Thank you so much for sharing, Kathy. Enjoy your family and a very Merry and Joyous Christmas to You and Yours! Wishing you and your family a Happy, Healthy New Year!!! (enjoy each and every precious moment:)

  5. Lovely cookies. They are perfect for Christmas. Your house looks beautiful. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family.

  6. They look melt-in-mouth and irresistible, Kathy.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year :-)

  7. These look so good! There's nothing better than excited kids on Christmas morning - I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

  8. ws thinking of making these recently! the problem is there are so many great pastry shops in Beirut, the motivation is to just go buy a 1/2 kilo and be done with it! yours look great!

  9. I love Jumana's site :-)
    These cookies look amazing Kathy.
    Merry Christmas!

  10. What delicious looking cookies, the pistachio is such a kingly nut :D

    Happy Holidays!

  11. Kathy, such a lovely traditional holiday cookie you made. I've also made my Hungarian holiday cookie, and taking it to friends' house for lunch. Beautiful house you have, with the gorgeous holiday lights.
    Merry Christmas, my dear you, and your family!

  12. These are just beautiful and lovingly made! I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas, Kathy!

  13. Gorgeous ghraybeh, Kathy! I made some earlier this year, and they were wonderful. Now I want to sample your tried and true recipe. Hope you had an amazing Christmasa...and many wishes for a joyous New Year!

    PS Your home is so lovely decked out for the holidays!

  14. These look wonderful. I've never had Lebanese shortbread (yet!) :)

  15. Great looking cookies Kathy. Hope you had a merry Christmas and wishing you a Happy New Year.

  16. What a beautiful Christmas post Kathy! Hope your holidays were wonderful. I love the idea of mixing in a new cookie with the family favorites.