Algerian Semolina Sugar Cookies Recipe - Traditional Taste of Algeria

Algerian Semolina Sugar Cookies

Algerian Semolina Sugar Cookies Recipe - Traditional Taste of Algeria
Region / culture: Algeria | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Servings: 24


Algerian Semolina Sugar Cookies
Algerian Semolina Sugar Cookies

Algerian Semolina Sugar Cookies, known locally as Ghraybia, are a traditional sweet treat that has been enjoyed for generations. These cookies are characterized by their crumbly texture, sweet flavor, and simple yet delightful ingredients. Perfect for celebrations, holidays, or as a comforting snack, these cookies are a staple in Algerian cuisine and have won the hearts of many around the world.


The recipe for Algerian Semolina Sugar Cookies dates back several centuries and is deeply rooted in Algerian culture and tradition. Originally, these cookies were made to celebrate various festivals and religious events, using simple ingredients that were readily available. Over time, the recipe has been passed down through generations, with each adding their own touch, but always preserving the essence of this beloved treat.


How to prepare

  1. Beat the egg yolks and butter until they become light and fluffy. Add the sugar and blend well.
  2. Whisk the egg whites until they reach the desired consistency. This traditional method is believed to have an impact on the final outcome of the cookies, although it may not make a significant difference.
  3. Add the vanilla extract. Combine the egg and butter mixture with the flour. The dough will have a slightly gritty texture.
  4. Incorporate the egg whites into the dough. If the dough doesn't come together, add a small amount of water and blend until it does. Avoid overworking the cookie dough.
  5. Take a walnut-sized piece of dough and shape it into a sphere using your hands. Wetting your hands with water will prevent the dough from sticking. It may require some practice to create evenly shaped cookies. Optionally, you can dip the cookies in confectioner's sugar before baking.
  6. Place the cookies on a buttered or parchment-lined baking sheet, keeping them about 2 inches apart. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes. Note that baking times may vary depending on the oven. It is important to monitor the cookies closely to prevent burning.


  • Add lemon or orange zest to the dough for a citrusy twist.
  • Incorporate ground nuts like almonds or pistachios for added texture and flavor.
  • Dip the baked cookies in melted chocolate for a decadent finish.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Algerian Semolina Sugar Cookies come out perfectly, consider these tips:

- Sift the flour before use to prevent lumps and ensure a smooth dough.

- When separating the eggs, ensure no yolk gets into the whites to achieve the desired consistency when whisked.

- Do not overwork the dough; mix just until the ingredients are combined to keep the cookies light and crumbly.

- Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to ensure uniform cookie sizes for even baking.

Serving Suggestions

These cookies are perfect as a dessert or a sweet snack with tea or coffee. They can also be beautifully packaged and given as gifts during holidays and special occasions.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in making these cookies is the careful incorporation of whisked egg whites into the dough, which helps achieve their signature light and crumbly texture.

Ingredient Substitutions

For a gluten-free version, substitute the flour with a gluten-free flour blend.

- If you prefer, margarine can be used instead of butter for a dairy-free option.

Make Ahead Tips

The dough for Algerian Semolina Sugar Cookies can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen for up to a month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before shaping and baking.

Presentation Ideas

Serve these cookies on a beautiful platter, dusted with confectioner's sugar or alongside fresh fruit for a simple yet elegant presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair these cookies with mint tea, coffee, or a glass of milk. For a dessert pairing, they go wonderfully with a scoop of vanilla or pistachio ice cream.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. There is no need to reheat, but if desired, a quick warm in a low oven can refresh them.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Algerian Semolina Sugar Cookies contains approximately 300 calories. As with all treats, they should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.


Each serving of Algerian Semolina Sugar Cookies contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates, primarily from flour and sugar. These cookies are a source of quick energy, making them a sweet snack to enjoy in moderation.


The cookies contain about 10 grams of fat per serving, coming mainly from the butter. This contributes to their rich flavor and tender texture.


Each serving provides around 3 grams of protein, coming from the eggs and flour. While not a significant source of protein, it contributes to the nutritional value of the cookies.

Vitamins and minerals

These cookies provide small amounts of calcium and iron, thanks to the eggs and flour. They also contain trace amounts of vitamins A and D from the butter and eggs.


The main allergens in these cookies are gluten (from flour) and eggs. Individuals with sensitivities to these ingredients should avoid this recipe.


Algerian Semolina Sugar Cookies are a delicious treat, offering a balance of carbohydrates, fats, and a small amount of protein. While they do provide some vitamins and minerals, they are best enjoyed as an occasional indulgence due to their sugar and calorie content.


Algerian Semolina Sugar Cookies are a delightful treat that combines simple ingredients into a deliciously sweet and crumbly cookie. With a rich history and the potential for various adaptations, these cookies are a versatile and beloved part of Algerian cuisine. Whether enjoyed with a cup of tea or as a special gift, they are sure to bring joy and sweetness to any occasion.

How did I get this recipe?

I vividly recall the moment I first laid eyes on this recipe for Algerian Semolina Sugar Cookies. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my friend Fatima in her cozy kitchen. The aroma of spices and sweetness filled the air as she busily worked away, mixing ingredients and shaping the dough into perfect little rounds.

Fatima, a dear friend of mine who hailed from Algeria, had a talent for creating the most delectable treats. She had learned the art of baking from her own grandmother, who had passed down the recipes through generations. As she rolled out the dough and sprinkled it with sugar, I couldn't help but be in awe of her skill and passion for cooking.

"Would you like to learn how to make these cookies, my dear?" Fatima asked, her eyes twinkling with excitement. I eagerly nodded, eager to soak up every bit of knowledge she had to offer.

And so, that day became the beginning of my journey into the world of Algerian cuisine. Fatima patiently guided me through each step of the process, explaining the importance of using semolina flour for its unique texture and flavor. She taught me how to infuse the dough with orange blossom water and ground almonds, giving the cookies a delicate, fragrant taste that was unlike anything I had ever experienced.

As we baked batch after batch of cookies, Fatima shared stories of her childhood in Algeria, where baking was a cherished tradition passed down from mother to daughter. She spoke of the vibrant markets filled with exotic spices and fresh ingredients, and of the warm, welcoming homes where friends and family gathered to share meals and laughter.

Through Fatima's guidance and wisdom, I not only mastered the art of making Algerian Semolina Sugar Cookies but also gained a deeper appreciation for the rich history and culture behind the dish. I learned that cooking is not just about following a recipe, but about connecting with those who came before us and preserving traditions that bring us closer together.

Years have passed since that fateful day in Fatima's kitchen, but the memory of learning to make Algerian Semolina Sugar Cookies remains etched in my mind. Whenever I bake a batch of these sweet treats, I am transported back to that warm summer afternoon, surrounded by the comforting scents and flavors of a faraway land.

And so, as I pass down this cherished recipe to future generations, I do so with a heart full of gratitude for the dear friend who opened my eyes to the beauty of Algerian cuisine and the power of sharing food and stories with those we love. The tradition lives on, one delicious cookie at a time.


| Algerian Recipes | Algerian Snacks | Egg Recipes | Ethnic And Regional Cookies | Semolina Recipes | Sugar Cookie Recipes |

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