Happy new year everyone!
I couldn’t find better than ghorayehab, my all-time favorite Middle Eastern sugar cookie to be my first post in 2020.
If you read my last post, you will figure that my family celebrates Christmas on Jan. 6th. That is the date of the Coptic Christmas celebrated by Egyptians Christians.
So please don’t be surprised if Christmas festive recipes keep showing up on my blog until the Epiphany feast on Jan 20th.
Growing up in Egypt, I never ceased to marvel at the large number of elaborate dishes that my mom and grandma managed to make for Christmas dinner. When I became a mom myself, I figured that their Eid (feast) baking and cooking tradition was an act of heroism that I am not qualified for.
Usually, my social schedule is packed around the holidays, and the kids’ activities in the winter break are taking over our time and energy as a family. Realistically, not much left for long hours of cooking.
While It is impractical to import the same laborious food tradition of my ancestors to my contemporary lifestyle, I was determined on keeping the tradition alive through a simplified version of their feast menu.
Among the long list of my mom and grandma’s sweet and savory dishes, I picked my favorite few. Over the coming few days, I will reveal in each post an old favorite feast recipe with a fresh take.
Today I will start with ghorayebah or sugar cookie. It is a simple cookie that melts in your mouth once you bite into it. It is an authentic, effortless, and versatile delicacy.
Among its many qualities, this cookie dough could be infused with endless possibilities, such as lavender, orange blossom, coffee to name a few. Last and not least, kids can help with it minus the vexing mess in the kitchen.
With that being said, the rosewater-pistachio is my favorite. The subtle flavors notes match the delicate texture of the cookie. My husband finds me on cloud nine when I Savore those cute wonders with a cup of good coffee! For all those reasons, those cookies are so popular in my house.
Adapted from Manal Al Alem Ghorayebah recipe.
Makes 20 cookies
- 1 cup, 225 grams of butter, softened.
- 1 cup of superfine sugar
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tablespoon of rosewater
- 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla
- 2 cups of flour, sifted
- pinch of salt
- pistachio, whole and crushed for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 180 C°
- Beat at a moderate speed the softened butter and the sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment for few five minutes, or until the butter-sugar mixture is fairly pale.
- Change the whisk attachment with the paddle one, add the egg white, the rosewater, and the vanilla and keep mixing until the egg white is fully incorporated.
- Decrease the mixer speed and add the sifted flour. Stop the mixer when the dough comes together.
- Using a 1.6-inch ice cream scoop, form little balls. Flatten them slightly. Put a whole pistachio in the middle and then dredge the base of each cookie in the crushed pistachios.
- Put the cookie in the fridge for 15 minutes
- Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes.
- Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool completely.
- Remove the cookies from the oven before they change their colors. They should stay white.