burst of passion – coconut-passionfruit cookies

by hungryrabbit on September 21, 2012

Coconut-Passionfruit Cookies

Work has kept me more out the kitchen than I would have liked. The final attention to details for a townhouse renovation project has consumed most of my time for the last two months. Still, I’m grateful for wonderful clients who agree with my vision for their new home. I had the opportunity to exercise my design perspective and have a construction team that made it come to life. I’ve nothing to complain about–except I need more than 24 hours a day.

Earlier in the year when I had a break, I wanted to be busy with work. Now that I’ve got projects, I long for those easy afternoons when I could sneak into the kitchen and play. Now that it’s setting into gorgeous late summer/early fall weather, I long to escape my desk. I need to bring some sunshine inside.

Most of us probably associate lemon with sunshine because of the color and the bright flavor. I am also extremely fond of passion fruit..The color of passion fruit combines the bright yellow of lemon as well with the warmth of a zesty orange. The burst of vibrant citrus flavor is always a surprise–and that’s exactly how I intended to present it in this Passion-Nut Cookies.

The creamy mild essence of the coconut cookies are reinforced with a coconut frosting. As one bites into the cookie, the hidden passion fruit curd in the center bursts forth with a vivid contrasting tartness. Given the airy caginess of these cookies, they are best eaten within a couple of days which should not be a problem at all–at least not in this rabbit abode.

Coconut-Passionfruit Cookies

recipe adapted from Matt Armendariz
yield: about twenty four 2-inch cookies


1-1/2 cup (2-1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons (3 ounces/3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (5-1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
6 tablespoons canned unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons passionfruit purée
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
Passionfruit Curd, recipe to follow
Coconut Frosting, recipe to follow
Confectioners’ sugar, for serving (optional)


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 ℉. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat, set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.

2. In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg and continue mixing until well combined, about 30 seconds. Working in batches, add flour mixture; mix until well combined. Add coconut milk, passionfruit purée, and extracts; continue mixing until a dough forms, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Using a tablespoon or a 1-1/8″ ice cream scoop, drop dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Transfer to oven and bake, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking, until golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack until completely cool.

Passionfruit Curd

yield about 2 cups


1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup passionfruit puree
5 large eggs yolks
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes.


1. Combine sugar, passionfruit puree, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thick enough to coat back of spoon, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butter, piece by piece, until melted. Cool, cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until needed, up to 4 days.

Recipe Notes
1. You will not use up all of the curd in this recipe. Perhaps you can use it in this cake

Coconut Frosting


8 tablespoons (4 ounces/1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/4 cups (5 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons canned unsweetened coconut milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon light rum
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt


1. Using electric mixer, beat butter in medium bowl until smooth. Add sugar, coconut milk, extracts, and salt. Beat on medium-low speed until blended, scraping down sides of bowl. Increase to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy. Add rum and continue to beat until fully incorporated. Refrigerate until needed.


1. Pair each cookie with approximately the same size cookie, turn half of the pairing over, flat side up. Pipe coconut frosting around the edge of the bottoms/flatside of the cookies; then pipe passion fruit curd in the center. Sandwich together with remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Just before serving, lightly sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanna @ Chic & Gorgeous Treats September 21, 2012 at 8:56 am

I am in love with these passion coconut cookies. Love how the passion is bursting out. Wish you could mail me some ;-). Happy Friday!!

Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb September 21, 2012 at 8:56 am

Passion Fruit curd, now that’s something I have never heard of before. Man your killing me with your cookies on the other side of the world!

Brian September 21, 2012 at 11:32 am

Yay for good clients! Congrats on the project! And I’m just adoring these cookies. Send me some please?

Colette @ JFF! September 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Holy cow, that looks divine!

Jamie September 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Oh Ken, they are so beautiful! I love lemon, love coconut, but you know I’ve never baked with passionfruit and I am not even sure I’ve ever tasted it. I must have. But these gorgeous, ethereal cookies sound incredible and I would definitely love to try them. I am so happy the renovation job is a success and I would really love to follow you through a project, I find it fascinating!

Jenn Baker (@jbakernyc) September 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I know I say this often and all but…drooling at the pics! I didn’t realize there were passion fruit purees out there! Thanks for including a link! Hope I can find ’em.

Lora @cakeduchess September 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm

I think you’re clients are lucky to have an amazing artist/professional with such attention to details creating their renovation project. These cookies make me smile because they are so pretty and so you.delicious.xx

Kristine February 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Love the sound of these as my honeymoon was in Kuau’i and Maui…passion fruit has been a treat from me now back state side. Please tell me where I can find the Passion fruit puree, link is not functioning.


hungryrabbit February 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Hi Kristine, the link on the post seems to work OK, but here’s a link where you can purchase online. check the site for stores near you. Happy Baking! -Ken

Regina August 19, 2013 at 11:31 am

The pictures are pretty, and the recipes seem to be delicious, but Kristine is right the link to the passion fruit puree is not working, and even it were it’s a French site. Could you be so kind and give us a link with a recipe to make it, or even buy it?
Thank you.

hungryrabbit August 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Hi Regina, here’s the link http://bit.ly/19twnLt Happy Baking! -Ken

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