Recipe by ladyheather06
"A simple traditional Arabic recipe for cookies similar to shortbread. The wonderful flavor comes from the cardamom, which is fairly expensive, but very worth it. I actually prefer them without the almonds, but you might add them if you like."
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Being big fans of cardamom, we knew we had to try these...with a couple alterations. Double the cardamom -- trust us, it's the thing to do. And we used whole almonds, not for any culinary reason...just because we're lazy. We found that chilling the cookies before baking them helped them retain their shape better than just tossing them in the oven. And speaking of the oven -- the first batch just came out. Five stars, two thumbs up, ten out of ten...pick your rating system. We can't do it for you -- gotta go have another cookie.
The traditional way of making ghoraybah is by adding a few drops of Arak (lebanese spirit). It gives it such a distinct flavor.
This isn't a recipe that will appeal to all taste buds because the cookies are more flavored than sweet, but we sure like them. As the other reviewers have mentioned, I do think the cookies benefit from a little vanilla extract, brown sugar and salt, but the cardamom is key. If you're using the packaged variety, you'll probably want to triple the amount, but using the actual cardamom pods makes a huge difference and really gives these cookies their flavor. I'm the first to admit you can't buy the pods everywhere (and if you do, they are on the pricey side), but if you have them, use them! (To extract cardamom: lightly brown pods in a pan over high heat - but don't overdo them! - remove cardamom seed from shells and crush using a mortar and pestle. For the leftover pods, I occasionally add them to my tea like the Lebanese do.) Also, this is one of few cookie recipes that turns out better using the old fashioned bowl & spatula method rather than the mixer. Finally, make sure your butter is softened (place in microwave for 25 seconds) to ensure a good dough.
these are wonderful!!! You must try for something very different. I have had ghroubah in Tunisia and found them to be good but dry (I think they make theirs with semolina flour so they are a bit more gritty) and these were far better! Thanks to kellimelli for the suggestion of more cardomom...definitely a must do! I added a HEAPING teaspoon of cardomom. I used my cookie press to make them so pretty and omitted the almonds. So few ingredients make them perfect..but u will want to double the recipe. These are intended for a care package to my inlaws in Tunisia...I am sure they will impress coming from their American daughter-in-law! **Make sure your butter is at room temp....and keep beating and it will eventually come together to form a dough ball.
The cookies are great (I used 1 heaping teaspoon of cardamom, as recommended in other reviews) but I found they weren't sweet enough for me. So on my second batch I added 2 tbsp of brown sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla extract (as well as using 1 heaping tsp of cardamom again). That made cookies that were slightly sweeter and still had a good cardamom taste.
In my oven it only took 17 minutes; the first time I checked them at 20 minutes and they were already overbrowned. So I'd suggest keeping a close eye on the first batch to determine how many minutes they need in your oven, since it's very important not to overbake these cookies. The flavor is delicate enough that if you overcook them, the "overbrowned" taste will overwhelm the flavor.
Since I'm lazy, I just made them as drop cookies. They cooked just fine as drop cookies.
These were delicious. I doubled the cardamom and added a pinch of salt and everyone thought they were the best version of shortbread cookies they'd ever tried.
i love it!!! it smells so good and tastes just as good... thanks for the advice for doubling the cardamom! would have tasted bland. no complaints except i probably wouldn't add the almond next time.
The cookies come out a little bit crunchy, but if you think of them as cardamom shortbread, it's great! The flavor and aroma are wonderful.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Serving Size: 1/24 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 24
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 73
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