The Lebanese butter cookie is one of the least elaborate, yet most delicious, cookies in my holiday parade. These cookies can be shaped in diamonds, as I’ve done here, or in simple flattened circles (start with a small ball, then flatten). Top with a blanched almond or pine nut (before baking) instead of dusting with powdered sugar. Flavor the dough with vanilla instead of orange blossom water, or nothing at all. Good butter (like Plugra) will always make these cookies taste wonderful; be sure it's clarified. The recipe is easily doubled. This recipe has been updated to the same base recipe in my cookbook.
Heat oven to 325 degrees and place rack in the center of the oven.
Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or sturdy hand-held mixer, whip the butter on high speed until fluffy, creamy and pale, about six minutes. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula for even whipping. Add the sugar and orange blossom water and whip until well combined and fluffy. On low speed, slowly blend in the flour, ½ cup at a time.
Handle the dough as gingerly and swiftly as possible to shape the cookies. Take a large handful of the dough and shape it into a log about 1-inch tall and wide (this is pretty narrow!) on a lightly floured work surface. If the dough is crumbly, gently push it together. Use a sharp knife to cut ½-inch pieces diagonally (these are quite small; they expand when baked).
Place the diamonds on a parchment-lined heavy sheet pan and bake until the cookies are baked through but still pale, about 18-20 minutes. The cookies should not be browned except for very minimally on the bottom.
Remove from the oven and cool on the sheet pan. Remove carefully with a metal spatula and sift powdered sugar over the cookies to serve. Graybeh keeps frozen or in an airtight container for up to two weeks.