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Egyptian Butter Cookies { Ghorayeba }

It doesn’t matter what Egyptians are celebrating, food will be there! And depending on the holiday, cookies may be the star of the occasion like during Eid-ul-Fitr or Christmas.  The butter cookies we’re making here, called Ghorayeba in Egyptian, are bite size cookies that quickly melt in your mouth and leave you desiring for more.  Watch out for that kid next to the cookies plate otherwise, I promise, the plate will be empty in no time.

Egyptian butter cookies, called Ghorayeba, are easy to make with simple ingredients and delicious results.  Using the electric mixer, putting it all together is very easy.  If you’re allergic to nuts, the addition of cloves is a great alternatives.  Cloves brings a unique sense of freshness to the cookie. You can also skip the toppings and bake it plain. Let’s do it!

Serving Ideas: For holidays or as a special treat.

Servings: About 70 cookies

2 cups flour
1 cup powder sugar
1 cup clarified butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
20 almonds, peeled & halved
35 cloves



~ Using an electric mixer on high speed, mix the clarified butter for about 3-4 minutes until it becomes fluffy.
~ Add the sugar and continue to mix for another 3 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the mixture remains fluffy.
~ Lower the speed. Blend in the vanilla extract then blend in the flour.
~ Remove the dough from the mixer and refrigerate it for 10 minutes to help it firm up.

~ Remove the dough from the fridge and divide into 4 parts.

~Form each part into a tube and slice the tube into the shape of the cookies, placing them on a baking sheet.
~ Add the almond halves and press on each cookie lightly.
~ Add the cloves and press on each cookie lightly.
~ While you let the cookies rest for a few minutes, preheat the oven to 375F (190C)
~ Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, turning the tray around mid way through.
~ Take the cookies out of the oven and let them cool down in the tray for about 30-40 minutes
~ Your cookies are now ready to devour :)

~ Bel Hana ~

Best Places to Try this Dish in Egypt:
~ My mom’s kitchen :)

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28 Responses to “Egyptian Butter Cookies { Ghorayeba }”

  1. Shannon
    November 13, 2013 at 3:35 am #

    Sorry, I think your recipe is missing something vital. After slinging clarified butter all over my kitchen for 11 minutes with no change in the consistency I think the first step is amiss. I’ve consulted other websites to see if there is any other recipes where clarified butter whips up and can’t find any. Please review your recipe and make needed corrections. Thank You.

    • FoodOfEgypt
      June 2, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

      Hi Shannon; There are different kinds of clarified butter on the market. Watch out for the kind that’s not solid. It will definitely be challenging to whip. Instead, you can try to use unsalted butter at room temperature but the taste will be different. ~ Bel hana ~

      • Amber Smith
        October 13, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

        I am making this recipe for my World Cultures class, but currently I don’t have clarified or unsalted butter. I do have these butters and I was wondering which one you thought would work the best. Home Churned, Blue Bonnett, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, Coburn Farms….?

      • Heather
        May 12, 2016 at 1:20 am #

        I made my own clarified butter out of unsalted butter (Found the recipe online)…….it has to be cold for it whip. I chilled mine in the freezer for about 10 min then it would whip.

  2. Chaitali
    January 15, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

    Sounds nice… I look forward to making it….

  3. Maxwell
    February 2, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

    This was a great choose of my project

  4. April 11, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

    These cookies were a terrific addition to our World Day of Prayer service this year. We served them before the afternoon worship, along with the other foods mentioned in the program. Terrific program all in all! One we could really identify with and make a good program out of.

    I keep getting asked for this recipe and I have been making them for church functions for the last 2 months since our service! The crispness is great–thanks for the specific directions for baking them. And they are easy to make–think I’ll put ground cloves in the batter rather than buying the whole cloves and then getting them picked off the top of the cookies and thrown away. The almonds are good–slices or chips, or ground chunks, etc. Any way you add them, they are great! I did not see these pictures before so I put both ingredients on all the cookies.

  5. Isabella t
    November 18, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    This is good for my school project

    • December 6, 2017 at 12:36 am #

      it was good for mine too im supposed to do an Egyptian food this came out wonderful

  6. Lindsay
    January 4, 2015 at 1:02 am #

    I was wondering what kind of flour you use? I generally use all-purpose, but figured it’d be better to as in case it’s self-rising, cake, etc..
    Thank you :-)

    • FoodOfEgypt
      February 24, 2015 at 6:41 pm #

      Just all purpose flour.

  7. mckenzie
    October 3, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    these look so good

  8. April
    November 2, 2015 at 12:38 am #

    Hello! My son is allergic to both cloves and almonds. Is there an acceptable substitution for either of these? Thank you!

    • FoodOfEgypt
      November 3, 2015 at 5:41 am #

      That’s a very good question. You can make it plain with no toppings. ~ Bel hana ~

  9. Emily
    March 24, 2016 at 9:51 am #

    So light and tasty!

    I have no idea what clarified butter is but I had normal unsalted butter and they worked just great. Couldn’t find cloves or almond halves, but I had almond slivers which worked just fine. Second pan I just left plain and they are tasty little cookies. Glad I didn’t halve the recipe as originally planned. Thanks!

  10. May 31, 2016 at 2:52 am #

    Hi is it ok to use margin because butter is expensive and I am making this for my school Egyptian fair

    • FoodOfEgypt
      December 6, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

      It’s highly recommended to use the clarified butter or butter.

  11. Catherine
    June 10, 2016 at 1:53 am #

    I am gluten intolerant, and I would love to make these. Can I use gluten free flour and still get the same results?

  12. Jeane
    July 4, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    Why is there no baking powder or baking soda?

  13. November 10, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

    Hi Shannon,

    I tried this recipe many times and I must say, it is very effective. However, the almonds in my cookies burnt and it was awful because it got everywhere; the same effect happened with the cloves. Do you have any alternatives to put onto the cookies that do NOT explode? Thank you so much and I love you and your recipe!

    ~Bel Hana ~

  14. Christianne
    November 13, 2016 at 5:27 pm #

    Good day. Thanks for the really nice recipe. I was wondering if I could use ghee as the clarified butter?

    • FoodOfEgypt
      December 6, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

      Haven’t tried before. But seems the same.

  15. Aashna Patel
    November 24, 2016 at 1:10 am #

    I don’t have a quick mixer? Is it possible to do it by Hand? To whip up the butter…. can I use homemade clarified butter??? And just use a whisk?

    • FoodOfEgypt
      December 6, 2016 at 6:36 pm #

      Sure you can mix by hand. Keep mixing until all the sugar dissolves. ~ Bel hana ~

  16. S.Becker
    December 13, 2016 at 1:11 am #

    Turned out exactly as pictured. Wondering if these will freeze?


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