Shortbread is one of my favorite things to make. I've kept the same base recipe for years and with it created endless variations. I actually tested two recipes for this post originally. The other was lemongrass and Thai chili with the same glaze. The lemongrass and chili shortbread were good but not particularly flavorful. I'm considering using the same flavor combination and glaze for a doughnut now instead but we'll see. This kaffir shortbread though, which was originally something I made sort of as an after thought, is a winner. It has all the buttery richness you crave in the middle of Winter with the bright, bold, Summery flavor of the kaffir leaves. Don't even get me started on this Thai tea glaze. How many things can I put it on? Is all the things too many things? Is it insane to just eat a spoonful? I honestly don't even know.
For the Shortbread:
- 8 oz (2 sticks) Butter (cubed and COLD)
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 2 Dried Kaffir Lime Leaves* (Crumbled/chopped as fine as you can)
For the Glaze:
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 1/3 cup Milk
- 1 tablespoon Thai Tea*
- Put all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer of food processor (I think a food processor works best but I don't currently own one) and mix until they form a smooth dough. There shouldn't be any visible chunks of butter.
- Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and let chill for thirty minutes
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 3/8 inch thickness.
- Cut into your desired shape. I did both 1 by 2 inch rectangles and 2 inch rounds this go round but I also considered breaking out my dinosaur cookie cutters. You can combine and re-roll the scraps up to two times if your kitchen is pretty cool.
- Place evenly spaced on a greased cookie sheet (they'll spread a little but not much) and bake for a full hour, just until a light golden brown on the bottom.
- Remove cookies from the tray and cool completely on a rack
- In a small saucepan bring milk just to a boil. Remove from heat and add in tea. Cover and steep for ten minutes.
- Strain the milk through a fine mesh sieve and let cool.
- When milk has come back to room temperature whisk into powdered sugar a little bit at a time until you've reached the desired consistency for the glaze. I made mine thin enough to drizzle but still thick enough to spread without it running everywhere. In my experience, powdered sugar glazes turn out a little different every time you make them, so they're not an exact science.
- When the cookies are completely cool, use a fork to drizzle or an offset spatula to spread the glaze on top. Let set. Enjoy!
*I looked for both Thai Tea and Dried Kaffir Lime Leaves in some of my favorite online spice shops but couldn't find them. If you're not going to Thailand any time soon, your best bet for these ingredients is either an Asian market or Amazon.