Happy new year, friends! Apologies for the silence. I spent my holidays, well, in Hawaii, where as much as I had intended to try new recipes and cook for my family and post frequently, I just did not. I did eat, though! I mean, in between visiting the beach, taking surfing lessons (failing at surfing lessons), and hiking up all of the mountains that surrounded us, I ate well.
There were many things to try! Fresh coconut mochi, mochi and adzuki bean covered strawberries (pictured above), mochi ice cream, mochi covered oreos. (They really like their mochi). Taro doughnuts (pictured below), guava juice, shave ice drizzled with condensed milk, macadamia nut ice cream, wasabi flavored macadamia nuts, Kona coffee brittle, Portuguese doughnuts doused in cinnamon sugar, iced tea with coconut milk. I mean, let’s be honest, people. I ate a lot. I’m on a juice cleanse now.
My favorite of all of these things, though, was passionfruit. They had passionfruit flavored everything, and it was just so so good. Fresh and bright, sweet and silky and tangy, this, my friends, is a satisfying flavor. And so, of course, I stocked up on all things passionfruit before heading back to the polar vortex. I now have an abundant supply of passion fruit mustard, passion fruit dressing, passion fruit butter, passion fruit jam (low sugar, of course), and passion fruit sugar (to make up for the jam). Yes. This may be the start of an addiction.
So, to pay homage to my delicious trip (and to start using some of my products that I bought), I bring to you chocolate and passionfruit thumbprints. Cookies to get you through this ridiculous cold weather, but tropical enough to remind you that spring is just around the corner (or to tell you to book a trip to Hawaii). The truth is that these cookies were so addictive that I didn’t even get a picture of one that was fully assembled. So, make these (!), and I’m leaving you with this picture of the beach instead. Aloha!
Chocolate Passionfruit Thumbprints (adapted from The Kitchn)
I realize that passionfruit butter and sugar are not as readily available on the mainland, but no worries! You can still make this tropical – the most easy being replacing the fruit butter and sugar with lemon curd and lemon sugar. Just zest a lemon into sugar and mix it around and roll the cookie dough balls in there.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar, plus more for rolling (I used passionfruit sugar for rolling)
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
passionfruit curd, or any other fruit curd to top cookie
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour with the cocoa powder and salt. Set aside. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolates on low until just melted. Whisk well until smooth, then set aside to cool slightly.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using an electric mixer), beat the butter until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat on medium until fluffy, another 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until just combined. Pour the melted and slightly cooled chocolate into the mixer and beat just until incorporated.
Add the flour and cocoa into the mixer bowl in two rounds, beating at low speed in between each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Chill the dough in the refrigerator until firm enough to roll into balls, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the passionfruit sugar into a small, shallow bowl. Scoop up roughly 2 tablespoons of the chilled dough and form into balls. Roll in the coarse sugar and transfer to the baking sheets. Using your thumb or index finger, press down firmly into the center of each cookie to form an indentation. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until dry on top and slightly firm. Once out of the oven, press down gently on the indentations again to reinforce them, and transfer the cookie sheets to racks to cool completely. Fill each indentation with passionfruit curd.