Since I started this blogging thing, I have met some wonderful bloggers online and have learned a lot from those who have been at this a much longer time. I would read about ingredients they had been offered by companies who wanted them to create a recipe and get-togethers with other bloggers at foodie events. And, while I was happy for them, I was a little sad for me. I didn’t know any other bloggers personally and no one had ever offered me free stuff. Well, in Dubai, all that has changed! I now belong to a great group of UAE bloggers and have even had the privilege of meeting a few of them face-to-face. And then, some weeks ago, I received an email from a public relations person who wanted to send me some sugar. Not some strange ingredient that I would have to work around, but sugar! Of course, I said yes! Hey, why not? The company is called Aveem and they very kindly sent me not only white sugar, but some light brown sugar as well. (And a few other goodies. As I said, nice people!)
According to the initial email, the sugar is from Brazil so I decided that a recipe with one of our favorite flavors from Brazil, passionfruit or maracujá, would be most appropriate. And delicious.
1/4 cup or 60ml fresh passionfruit pulp, as measured without seeds (Don’t panic! I’ll show you how to do this. Also, don’t discard the seeds. We are going to put some back in for color.)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup or 130g sugar
1/2 cup or 110g butter
1/2 - 1 cup light brown sugar for rolling dough in before baking
Cut open your passionfruit and, using a spoon, scoop the pulp and seeds into a bowl. Whisk vigorously to loosen the seeds from the pulp and juice.
Pour the whole bowl into a strainer over another clean bowl, and whisk again until all you are left with in the strainer is the seeds. Measure out your juice and set aside 1/4 cup or 60ml for your cookies. If you have any extra, you can sweeten it with a little sugar and serve it over ice and topped up with soda water for a very fresh and refreshing drink.
Add 2-3 teaspoons of the seeds back into the juice for color. They are perfectly edible but too many will distract from the soft chewy cookie.
Preheat the oven to 375°F or 190°C and grease or spray your cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
Mix together your flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
Put your light brown sugar into another small bowl and set aside.
With electric beaters or in your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
Add in your passionfruit juice and beat again. At this point your mixture might look like it’s curdling on you but do not despair.
Add a few tablespoons of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl and beat again.
Still mixing, continue adding in your flour mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time, until it is all incorporated.
You now have a soft dough and can proceed to the next step or, it might be easier to chill the dough for half an hour or so in the refrigerator before proceeding. I plowed right ahead but next time, I will definitely chill the dough.
Using a small scoop or tablespoon, drop small amounts of your soft dough into the light brown sugar.
Gently lift the little ball out and place it on the greased cookie sheet. Leave room between the balls for the cookies to spread while baking.
Continue until your cookie sheet is full. Bake in the preheated over for about 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Chill the dough in the refrigerator while the first batch bakes and continue the process until all the cookies are baked.
Remove the cookies with a metal spatula and cool on a wire rack. Sometimes one slips into your mouth. It's a risk all bakers take.
This recipe will yield almost four dozen beautifully crunchy outside, chewy inside passionfruit cookies. Serve them in your blue and white Brazilian pottery and savor the sweet taste of sunshine and samba.