And again working on one week’s post ended up having me leap right into the next one, so to speak… “Simple (but SO delicious) Things” led to Madeira’s signature soup which led me further on to the sweet peaks of the island’s cuisine, all things passionfruit. And that train of thought poked and prodded one of my little demons into mischievously chuckling awareness.
See, for years and years now, there’s been this cookie recipe sitting at my cook’s station, all but pointing and laughing at me…
…not only while I was browsing the menu or doing other game-related stuff, but, over time, it started following me into the real world, mocking me and my oven-less kitchen whenever I was dealing with passionfruit. Or Madeira. Or both. So, while I was prepping our kitchen-related plans, lists and gizmos for our latest winter-getaway to Sylt, I decided to grab that cookie demon by its scrawny little neck (and a couple of his buddies right along with it) and pop it a good one, so to speak, while I had unlimited access to an oven in our little apartment on the island. And here’s what my Tyrian cookie-demon made me do~!
The Passionfruit Curd
Just a word in advance – you won’t be needing all of this for the cookies, so make sure to have a ouple of small sterilized jars at hand.
5 Large Egg Yolks
150g Very Fine Caster Sugar
250g Passionfruit Pulp – scraping out 6-8 ripe passionfruit should get you there. In case you’re really not a fan of the seedy business, give them a very short whizz with your stick blender – just enough to separate the seeds from the pulp a bit – and strain the lot through a fine sieve before readjusting the weight with more passionfruits. I recommend going at least ½ and ½ on the seedy/seedless pulp though since the crunch actually is a part of the deal.
1-2 Scrapes of Lime Zest
1 Tsp of Lime Juic
e100g Cold Butter, dice it into ~1cm cubes and pop them back into the fridge until you need them
1) Place a wide pot on medium heat and add the sugar, passionfruit, lime juice and and zest.
2) Give everything a good stir as the mixture is warming up, then whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time, until each one is well incorporated into the mix.
3) Time to burn off some of the cookies in advance… keep whisking the mixture as it thickens, for roundabout 8-10 mins to be more precise, until the curd is thick and glossy enough to coat the backside of a spoon and stay in place when you drag a finger through the test-dot.
4) If the curd oozes back into the mark your finger left behind, keep at it for a bit longer and repeat the test.
5) Take the pot off the heat and stir in the chilled butter cubes one by one, until they’ve melted into the glossy and deliciously aromatic curd.
6) Transfer the curd into your prepped jars and set them aside to allow the curd to steam off and cool down to room temperature.
7) Seal the lids and pop them into your fridge until your cookies (or sweet’ish tooth~) demand for one of the jars to meet its maker~!
8) By the way, the curd you don’t need for the cookies right away will stay fresh and delicious for about 2 weeks if you’ve taken good care of the jars and their seals beforehand.
The Cookie Dough
The Passion Fruit Curd
150g Plain Wheat Flour
125g Fine Baking Sugar
85g Butter, at room temperature
25g Light Muscovado
10g Desiccated Coconut Flakes, lightly toasted
1 Tsp Baking Powder
½ Tsp Fine Sea Salt
¼ Tsp Baking Soda
1 Large Egg, at room temperature
4 Tbsp Coconut Milk
1 Tbsp Batida de Coco, Malibu Liqueur or Liquor 43 – my pick: Liquor 43
1 Tbsp Coconut Butter – you will find this or its equivalent in the breadspread section of a well-sorted organic food store, right next to the peanut butter, almond butter and their team
½ Tsp Vanilla Extract
1) Preheat your oven to 170° C and line two baking trays with sheets of baking parchment.
2) Sift the flour, baking powder, soda and salt into a large mixing bowl and set it aside for the time being.
3) Place the butter and both types of sugar in a second mixing bowl and use your handheld set to medium-high speed to whisk the lot up into a creamy, pale yellow fluff – 2-3 mins should do the trick.
4) Crack in the egg and, starting at low speed and working your way up to medium-high again, whisk the mixture for another minute or so until the egg is well incorporated.
5) Set the whisks to low speed and start transferring the contents of your flour-bowl into the creamy butter in spoonfuls. Go slowly and make sure each addition is worked well into the mix before adding the next.
6) Once your last spoon of solids has made its way into the glossy butter mix, work in the coconut milk, coconut butter, coconut flakes, liqueur of your choice and the vanilla extract one ingredient at a time.
7) Keep the whisks going for another 1-2 mins after your last addition to make sure the dough is well combined, lump-free and deliciously coconutty.
8) Use a tablespoon to pick up balls of cookie dough, as evenly-sized as possible, and drop them onto your prepped baking trays in round heaps, about 3-4cm apart. They do spread quite a bit, so make sure they have enough space in between them.
9) Pop the first tray onto the middle rack of your oven and bake the cookies to golden deliciousness for 10 mins, then repeat the process with the second tray. Alternatively you could pop them both in onto the middle rack and the one right below and switch their positions after 5 mins – you’d probably need to extend the baking time by 2-3 mins due to temperature loss during the switch, though.
10) Once you’ve taken them out of the heat, give them a couple of blinks, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow them to cool off entirely.
11) By the way, if the dough tried to make a run for it for no apparent reason (this happened to me on tray#2 while tray#1 ended up perfectly fine… and dough-temperature couldn’t have been the issue), use a cookie cutter to get them back into shape while they’re still hot, remove the oozage, then pop them back into the oven for another 5-7 mins or so.
Assembling the Cookies
1) Sort through your cookies and arrange them in convenient, evenly sized pairs in a kinda-sorta assembly line. Eat the one ending up solo… or the one you’ve… accidentally broken.
2) Drop one teaspoon-ful of the curd into the center of one cookie, spread it out with the back of the spoon just a little, then pop the cookies partner on top and lightly press them together to make the curd spread evenly, glueing them together in a deliciously biteable sandwich.
3) Make sure to leave a bit of a rim around the curd to keep it from squeezing out on one side while you’re biting into the other~
4) Dust them with icing sugar once you’re done with the whole batch.
5) Stored in an airtight container, preferably in one layer, they’ll stay crispy on the outside and fruity-gooey on the inside for up to 3 days.
6) You could, of course, store cookies and curd separately and assemble them just before the event in case you’re planning a couple of days ahead – the shorter the storage time, the better (and crispier in this case), as always. I wouldn’t go past the three-day mark, though since the essential oils of the coconut flakes also fade with time.
So, that Mischievous Chuckle my little friend keeps giving me from time to time now…? It’s a satisfied “Mission Accomplished” one~