pad thai cookies

[by john]

i've been holding off this post so that i could sufficiently surprise my guy with a airmailed batch of cookies for his birthday. well, it worked, so now i get to share.

i decided to attempt a tongue-in-cheek version of pad thai in cookie form since he grew up in bangkok. there are, believe it or not (there's no reason you should), no pad thai cookie recipes on the internet, so i got to flex my creativity muscles.

the whole process mimicked creating a new drink, or at least that was the mentality i applied. key ingredients: peanut, spice, tamarind. fish sauce, noodles and shrimp were clearly out. i don't want a lumpy mess of ingredients...hm...something that delineates the ingredients...thumbprint cookies?...yes!...with tamarind jam!...does that exist?...no...make my own...with spicy peanut butter cookies underneath...perfect.

after tweaking the jam, a couple iterations of the cookies themselves, and testing the recipe on friends, i had a great finished product. peanutty up front, the sweet-sour tamarind jam taking its place, then the spicy finish from the chili powder.

the jam was the scariest part:
tamarind jam

dissolve a brick of tamarind pulp (found in most asian markets) with hot water and work out the seeds. strain out the seeds. you want the consistency to be liquidy but not too watery. put a good amount of sugar in there (about 1:1 with the tamarind), plus a pinch of salt, and reduce in a saucepan until it has a good consistency when put on a frozen plate (no liquid runoff).

this was my guide.
now the cookies:
peanut butter thumbprint cookies

mix together with a hand mixer:
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup peanut butter

mix in:
1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg
1/2 teasp. vanilla

in a separate bowl:
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teasp. salt
1 1/2 teasp. chili powder

slowly add the dry stuff to the batter while beating.

roll batter in 3/4 inch balls, add tamarind jam in thumbprint. pinch of sugar on top if jam isn't sweet enough.

9-10 mins at 350.
et voila. (note that i had to use my bar mat for the cooling rack, since i don't own a proper one. drinks are clearly my game.)


  1. I have to say, that the thought of pad thai in cookies was a bit disconcerting. But this is very creative. Well done, I say.

  2. oooh tamarind jam definitely sounds familiar. but when i clicked on the link, i knew exactly what the jam is modeled after :)

    hmmmm pad thai cookies. i love them! thanks so much john