This delicious cookie, also known as kurabiye (Turkey) ghraibeh ghraybeh (Middle East), might be the descendant of the medieval nuhud al-‘adhra (virgin’s breasts). Four 13th-century cookbooks from the eastern Arab world reflect a fascination with this buttery delight.
In a guest post on Anissa’s blog, Charles Perry explores the virgin’s breasts. ”The ingredient list is much the same: flour, butter and sugar, but there are some differences. The medieval pastry is made with toasted flour, while ghraibeh uses semolina, and ghraibeh is flavored with rose water and orange blossom water. And the proportions are different. Nuhud al-‘adhra uses flour, sugar and butter in equal amounts, but there is more flour in ghraibeh.”
1/2 cup powdered sugar + more for coating
1 tsp soda powder
50 gr. almonds, toasted and chopped
1/3 cup brandy
Kourabiedes with olive oil
Kourabiedes with olive oil instead of butter are popular in the olive growing regions.