Grape molasses and almond shortbread cookies

There is a village called Barouk in the Shouf mountains  in which I discovered homemade pastries made by the store owner’s mother and his sisters. These cookies, called lawzieh (from lawz, almond) are  a traditional almond shortbread cookie very popular in that region.
INGREDIENTS:
  • 125 g. unsalted butter (4 oz.) at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp of grape molasses (can substitute more sugar)
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour (dip and sweep)
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup of chopped toasted almonds 
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • extra grape molasses and ground pistachios for garnish (or powdered sugar)
Imad Hallawi is the owner of the store; his sisters make lawzieh, zaatar kaak and kaak made with local grape molasses, all excellent; he can be reached at (76) 180-789 to place an order.
Photo credit: Anas Chao
METHOD:
  1. Place the white sugar, grape molasses and butter in the bowl of a mixer. Mix for one minute till mixture is combined. Add the egg and mix; add the flour and salt and mix for 30 seconds; add the almonds and mix to combine a few seconds. Gather into a ball and transfer to a piece of wax paper. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour (or longer, can freeze the mixture for 2 weeks also).
  2. Roll out the dough between two sheets of wax or parchment paper; heat the oven to 350F and cut the cookies using crescent-shaped cookie cutters or any other shape of your choice. Bake for 12 minutes or until the cookies are dry to the touch. Cool the cookies; to garnish, brush them with grape molasses and sprinkle with pistachio powder. 
Lawzieh from Imad Hallawi’s shop in Barouk, Shouf mountains.
Photo credit: Anas Chao
NOTE: If you can obtain first grade grape molasses (named whipped here), it is preferable to use for these cookies. You can also make these with just sugar (this is how they are made generally), in which case, increase the sugar to 3/4 cup and forego the molasses. The cookies will be crispier.
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11 Comments

  1. Mariana
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    They look divine.. will be making them soon.. thank you for the inspiration you provide!

  2. Posted July 17, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Pretty! Those cookies must be divine.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. Posted July 17, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous cookies! They’re addictive!

  4. Posted July 17, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    What pretty looking cookies, they look so delicious too! I don’t think we have grapes molasses here though.

  5. samir
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    these look exquisite…perfect with tea..or coffee..great posting

  6. Elena
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    Joumana! it’s look so tasty and so wondeful!
    Can I replace grape molasses with date molassos or malt syrup?

  7. Joumana
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    @Elena: sure! If you like the taste, it would work!

    @Samir: Thanks!

  8. Elena
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    i am not sure that i can find here grape molasses, but i have a date honey.

  9. Joumana
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    @Elena: Date honey would work fine. Remember, you can also make these with just sugar, increase the sugar to 3/4 cup.

  10. Posted July 18, 2012 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Love almond cookies! They are always a big hit in the family.

  11. Posted July 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Almond shortbread sounds delectable and looks so pretty with the pink hue! I know I’ve told you before, but I love all your photos of Lebanon. I feel as though I’m visiting vicariously through your blog!

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