Ghoriba (Almond Butter Cookies)

Ghoriba (Almond Butter Cookies)
Anita Schecter
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 20 Servings
Ratings (6)

Have you ever had wedding cookies? Some call them Greek, some call them Mexican but the distinguishing characteristic is a crunchy butter cookie covered in mounds of powdered sugar. Enough, in fact, that you need to be careful not to inhale when you bring the cookie up to your mouth because you will be coughing up powdered sugar for a while. Not that I've done that or anything. Anyway, temporary powdered sugar asthma or not, I adore this type of cookie. It's typically not overly sweet without the confectioner's sugar coating but that's why it works. The inside is nutty and buttery and there's a definite sweet and salty thing going on. I seriously have no self control around them. And what do they have to do with today's recipe? Well, ghoriba is basically the Middle Eastern version of the classic wedding cookie, especially popular as a Ramadan treat.

It's popular all over the region and that usually means there are as many variations as there are cities, countries or even families. But the basics remain the same which is that it's a short dough cookie that includes grounds nuts of some type (with almond being the most popular) and is dusted in powdered sugar. It's known to have a crackled top which comes from the crumbly dough. A sesame seed topping is definitely optional but I love the little extra crunch it gives. And the best thing about these cookies, apart from the taste, is how easy and fast they are to make. So, delicious and fast cookies. Yes, please.

What You'll Need

  • 1 Stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 Cup vegetable or canola oil (should be a flavorless oil)
  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 Cup almonds, ground
  • 2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds for topping
  • 1/4 Cup confectioner's (powdered) sugar for dusting

How to Make It

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add the 1/3 cup of sugar, softened unsalted butter, vegetable oil and vanilla to a large bowl. Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together until fully combined.
  3. Add the almonds in a food processor and grind until the pieces are very small but not completely dust. Combine the ground almonds with the all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet until fully combined.
  1. Using a 1 oz. scoop, form balls of dough and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently press down very slightly on each ball. Note that the dough will be very crumbly. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Dust the cookies with the powdered sugar. You should net approximately 20 1 oz. cookies.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 120
Total Fat 9 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Unsaturated Fat 4 g
Cholesterol 12 mg
Sodium 96 mg
Carbohydrates 9 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 1 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)