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Portland food photography | Tasty Thai Macaroons

Another food photography opportunity presented itself not long ago, when my house was ground zero for the second installment of our circle’s epic baking throwdown, known as Bake-Off. I’m never one to shy away from such a challenge, and I could have rested on my laurels and baked a batch of my already-proven peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-bacon cookies, but I wanted to try something new, and, well, I was also short on time that week, and the bacon cookies *are* a bit on the labor-intensive side.

So, with a half-baked (hurhurhur) idea in my head, I set out to create a weirdly delicious cookie that won the Spicy and Originality categories at Bake-Off. It also turned out to be an incredibly-easy recipe that’s gluten-free, and also easily made dairy-free. I didn’t have time for super-pretty plating, but I did grab a quick photo:

Portland food photography - Tasty Thai Macaroons

These were inspired by the Tasty Thai Kitchen in Eugene, whose White Pad Thai–a pad thai topped with what is possibly my all-time-favorite Thai peanut sauce–still fills me with fond memories, so it seemed appropriate to name these cookies after them.

**NOTE: I did write down this formula during the testing phase, but my notes got lost in the kitchen, so I’m rebuilding this from memory. If you dare to try this and it works (or doesn’t), do let me know!

Tasty Thai Macaroons (makes approx. 20 cookies)

2 Tbsp. milk (substitute non-dairy milk, if you like)
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 tsp. red curry paste (or less, if it’s too spicy for you)
2 egg whites, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
a dash of salt

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Heat milk until warm. Stir in peanut butter and curry paste, until it takes on a smooth, sauce-like consistency. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until frothy, then add egg whites into peanut butter mixture, and stir until well-combined. Combine the peanut butter mixture with the coconut, sugar, peanuts, and salt, and mix thoroughly.

Use a nonstick baking sheet, or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out small mounds of the mixture (approx 1-2 Tbsp) and place on sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until firm to the touch and lightly browning on edges. Remove the macaroons from the baking sheet, and cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes.

Finally, the MOST IMPORTANT step: Eat them!

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