You need unflavored Thai tea, instead of the kind that comes mixed with sugar and powdered cream, to make these tender, buttery sablés. You need to be mindful of the fact that most Thai tea brands include artificial colorings in their product (to give you the signature orange color) and not wear a white top when making these. You need good butter. You need to allow the dough to chill. That’s it. The rest is easy.
If you have a favorite go-to shortbread recipe, by all means, use it. It’s best if that recipe calls for white sugar instead of brown sugar as the color of the brown sugar will kind of mar the orange color of the tea. Oh, and add about a tablespoon of water to the butter when you cream it. This will help the tea to release its signature color and fragrance better.
If you don’t have a go-to recipe, you can use this one.
Thai Tea Shortbread Cookies
(Makes 3 dozen 2-inch rounds)
3/4 cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons loose Thai tea
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch (British = corn flour)