Cook Like: Alicia Hinze of The Buttered Tin

After winning the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, pastry chef Alica Hinze opened The Buttered Tin in St. Paul with her friend Jen Lueck. Hinze slathers bright, fragrant passionfruit purée between chewy-crisp meringue cookies to create a perfect treat for sweethearts!

Passionfruit Meringue Whoopie Cookies

Makes 24 cookies

2 c. sugar
1 c. passionfruit purée (can be found in the freezer
section of Mexican markets)
12 egg yolks
4 oz. unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
2 egg whites
5½ tsp. sugar
6 oz. powdered sugar
2 drops pure vanilla extract

Arrange racks in center of oven and preheat to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or wax paper and set aside. Fill large bowl (to hold a saucepan, below) with ice water. Set aside.

In large saucepan, whisk together sugar, passionfruit purée, and yolks. Over medium heat and stirring constantly with a heat-proof rubber spatula, cook purée until thickened but not boiling. (Pull spatula from saucepan and swipe your finger through purée clinging to it; if a “track” remains, it’s done.) Remove purée from heat and stir in butter. Settle pan in ice bath to stop cooking.

While passionfruit curd cools, make the cookies. Beat egg whites to soft peaks with an electric mixer on high speed. With mixer running, slowly add sugar and beat to stiff peaks. Stop mixer and fold in powdered sugar, a third at a time, along with vanilla extract.

Transfer meringue batter to pastry bag fitted with plain tip. Pipe batter into desired 3-inch shape (circles or hearts), leaving a 1-inch space between cookies. Let sit 10 minutes before baking.
Bake cookies 7 minutes, until puffed and just-set. Cool on sheet, then carefully peel from paper. Spread cooled purée between two cookies and serve immediately.