This buttery cookie is baked with clarified butter that is known as samna in Egypt and ghee in India. Clarified butter is made by melting butter at a low temperature and simmering it softly until the milk solids separate from the butterfat and the water evaporates. The nutty tasting butter fat that remains after straining keeps much longer and is used for baking and cooking in warmer climates. The gohrayeba cookie from Egypt is a lot like English shortbread, but has the distinct taste of clarified butter and is a little crumblier. Be sure not to leave the cookies in the oven too long. When they turn brown they lose their subtle taste and melt-in-the-mouth texture. Nice? Then you will probably like my own variation with sumac.
Ghorayeba cookie from Egypt
for about 20 cookies
100 grams ghee (or butter)
50 grams icing sugar
200 grams flour
pinch of salt
about 7 cloves
about 7 almonds
about 7 pistachios
With an electric mixer beat the ghee until light and creamy.
Add the icing sugar and beat for about 4 mins. or until the sugar has dissolved.
Add the flour and the salt and beat for a few minutes until the mixture resembles rough crumbs.
Form into a little roll of 4 cm/1,5 inches thick. The dough is rather loose, but should hold together. If the dough is too loose, knead in ½ teaspoon water. Roll into cling film and leave to firm in the fridge for about 30 mins.
With a sharp knife cut slices of about ½ cm/¼ inch and place on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Press a clove, an almond or a pistachio in every cookie.
Bake the cookies in the middle of the oven for about 10 mins. They should still be very pale. Take out of the oven and leave to cool on the cookie sheet.
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