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Cookies

It all started with the love for ube. Aside from its beautiful natural violet hue, ube just has this distinct flavor and aroma that I personally find hard to resist. I grew up around ube. The maids would make putong ube from scratch and locally made halayang ube would be on the table during parties or special events. Ube was definitely one of those foods that I missed while I was abroad.

One day, a pleasant surprise was found on our round dining table. A jar of ube jam from Good Shepherd. Does the brand sound familiar? Aside from its famous fruit jams and preserves, Good Shepherd has made its mark making fresh ube jam. Honestly though, I don’t like ube on its own. I usually like it mixed in other things such as cakes. My favorite one has to be Red Ribbon’s ube macapuno cake. There’s really nothing like it. It never fails to put a smile on my face especially when I need it! So with a sudden craving for anything ube, I venture out to create baked goods using the ube jam.

1. Ube Cheesecake: this is my own recipe. Shortbread cookie crust. Swirls of ube cheesecake combined with white chocolate cheesecake. Dollops of ube jam inside the cheesecake for a bit of a surprise. My younger brother loved this cheesecake. The ube flavor was strong and recognizable. I made a shortbread cookie crust because I’m rarely a fan of the usual graham cracker crust. Plus, I wanted a subtle buttery base that would make the ube flavor stand out more. Creamy, yet dense, this cheesecake is very rich and full of awesome ube-ness.

2. Ube Oatmeal Cookies: cranked out my go-to peanut butter oatmeal cookie recipe and swapped the peanut butter with ube jam. Used ube flavor instead of vanilla. I will probably use more food coloring next time. Though I’m always afraid to use too much. So let me know if you have a good source for natural food dye! These cookies had a good chewy texture and just a slight ube flavor. I would want the ube flavor and color to pop out more next time. Though ugly looking, I must say, there was something very addicting about these cookies!

3. Ube Macapuno Cupcakes: a lot of ube cake recipes called for grating fresh ube. As I am lacking of fresh purple yam and obviously had to use the ube jam that’s available, I searched far and wide for a recipe that incorporates the ingredient. I found this one to be perfect and reminded me of my favorite Red Ribbon cake.

The result? The cupcakes turned out a ghastly color, pretty close to as how the cookies turned out. The ube flavor was too delicate almost undetectable and the macapuno for some reason sometimes could not be tasted. For the frosting, I did an ube cream cheese frosting, leftover from the time I made red velvet cupcakes which I just added ube flavoring to.

If I wanted to put this on my list of projects, I wonder if fresh grated ube would do the trick for flavor and color? Handling the macapuno differently might also solve this problem.. maybe chopping it up first or maybe even toasting them for just a bit.. maybe even use coconut flakes instead of macapuno. Sorry, my mind is starting to wander!

Got a jar of an ingredient you want to incorporate into desserts? No problem! The internet is such a wonderful resource. It surprises and amazes me everyday of the information that’s available out there. Of course only use these as a backbone, use your own creativity to reach endless possibilities!

Oh! And if you’re wondering why my photos were taken under yellow lighting or not much even, it’s because it’s rainy season here. Check out this photo I took from our Manila condo.

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Last weekend, I went on an out of town trip to Tagaytay with some girlfriends. So Wednesday night, I was in the middle of planning what sort of baked goods I could make for the trip when one of my friends requested for cookies. I will not mention any names but she is one terrible cookie monster, that I can tell you! So along with some strawberries and cream cupcakes, I decided to make peanut butter oatmeal cookies.

I have made these peanut butter oatmeal cookies before. Everyone who got to taste these loved them. Including me of course. I really wouldn’t lie to you. I try not to be biased about my baking so I don’t go telling you guys that everything I make is awesome. But when I hype something up like this please just know that I am dead serious. THESE ARE DELICIOUS. Make these cookies plain, strictly following the recipe and you will end up with melt in your mouth peanut butter oatmeal cookies. Here’s a picture of the cookies from the first time I made them.

pardon the quality, a cellphone camera was used!

This time though, I wanted to play around with the recipe and change it up. If you’ve read my post on my strawberries and cream cupcakes, you would know that I have been on an experimental mood lately. So with leftover brownie bites and Snickers from the time I made stuffed chocolate chip cookies along with some homemade toffee sauce, a light bulb went off and I just knew.. Oh and I thought it would be interesting to note that I used whole wheat flour for this batch. I figured since I’m adding so much to the yumminess of the cookie, why not make it a little healthier?

#1 way: Brownie Stuffed Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies: I had around 8 small pieces of brownie bites leftover so I used these to stuff the cookies. The cookie dough was very hard to handle. I had to keep putting it back in the fridge/freezer to harden a little bit so I could scoop a good amount that would cover each brownie piece. It took 2 small ice cream scoops of dough to completely hide a chunk. You get the picture. These were big cookies so they had to bake for a good 11-12 minutes.

#2 way: Peanut Butter Toffee Snickers Oatmeal Cookies: Whew! That was a mouthful! I chopped up a couple fun size Snickers and mixed them in some toffee sauce. Then I mixed this into the remaining cookie dough, just as you would chocolate chips.

see the bits of Snickers??

The results: the brownie stuffed ones were good and ginormous. It was basically a giant chocolate peanut butter cookie but fudgy on the inside. The toffee Snickers cookies turned out so rich but delicious. They were so gooey that they fell apart so easily but it was also caused by the toffee sauce melting away within the cookie. The addition of the Snickers pieces added to the peanut taste which I really liked.

So play around with your basic cookie dough or cake recipes. Mix in some of your favorite things that you think would result into this wonderful combination. You might just surprise yourself with how it will turn out!

Hi Guys! This will be a short but SWEET post. hehe. ok I’ll stop. So remember my Baking with Friends post where I wrote about baking with my friend Holly and her sister Bianca? We made Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip cookies. I wanted to go back and do the same recipe again but this time, with other stuffings.

I had Snickers, Reese’s cups and brownies. Yes. All yummy things inside chocolate chip cookies. I want to be honest. I cheated with the brownies. I had a little help from my friend Betty Crocker. The mix is so easy to make, the batter was ready in less than 5 minutes. Such a BIG help when you’re in a rush. Why the rush? Oh rushing to bake so I can stuff the cookies, bake them and EAT 🙂

Thanks Betty!

My stuffing station

These are huge cookies since they are stuffed. Just look at the size of these things!

brownie stuffing

comparing the cookie to a mini Reese's cup

Snickers filling

My favorite: the brownie stuffed ones. They were fudgy and so chocolatey inside. These cookies are best served warm so I would pop them in the microwave for a good 25-30 seconds until soft and the center is gooey. When warm, the Snickers melts inside the cookie and the Reese’s cup becomes this soft delicious chunk of peanut butter in the middle! Try this and let me know which is your favorite!

L-R: Reese's cup, Snickers, Brownie

If you’ve read my ‘About Me’ page, I mentioned that I don’t have a full range oven at my Manila condo. I only bake when I’m in the province. But when my friend Holly sent me a link of a cupcake recipe that just had to be made, I knew I had to bring my supplies back to Manila and make it with her. At her house, of course, where they have a nice oven and not just an oven toaster like mine 😦

The recipe? Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes. A chocolate chip cupcake with a cookie dough filling and cookie dough-like frosting. HEAVEN. I didn’t want to stop with just that because I wanted to maximize baking in Manila with friends so I decided to make another recipe that I’ve been eying for a while: Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. Yes, a cookie inside another cookie. An Oreo cookie inside a soft, chewy chocolate chip cookie. I WANTED TO MARRY THE COOKIE.

Holly wasn’t the only one who wanted to help out. Turns out her sister Bianca, as she said, was an aspiring rapping baker? Haha. Don’t even ask. When she found out I was coming over to bake, she got excited and even asked if she could be my apprentice. Why, of course! While baking, Holly’s mom even helped out filling the cupcake liners before they went in for baking.

Sad to say, we didn’t really have time to take a picture of the finished cupcakes with the frosting and the filling inside. We had to get ready to go out (yes, I have a life outside work and baking!) Please just take our word for it when we say, these were delicious. All the components of the cupcake tasted like a cookie. The cupcake itself. The cookie dough filling. The frosting even tasted like cookie dough! Just. Amazing. Check the link for the recipe to see what the cupcakes could have looked like.

As for the cookie. I decided to use mini Oreo cookies instead of full size ones as suggested in one of the comments from the source of the recipe. It was just the perfect size. I actually also brought some mini Reese’s cups to stuff in the cookies but also didn’t have enough time to make them.. I’m thinking there’s a part two to this! Plus, I’m already planning to stuff cookies with other things.. please suggest interesting fillings for me 🙂

UPDATE: A picture of the cupcake! I was so happy when Holly sent me a picture of a cupcake after Bianca finished filling and frosting the rest. Great job Biancs!


I knew I’d end up with way too much cookie dough from the Oatmeal Raisinets recipe so I figured I could grab a bit of the dough before putting in the oatmeal and the raisinets and use it in this cheesecake. The recipe is from Home Cooking Rocks. I was lucky enough to stumble upon this blog since I never really followed a Pinoy food blog before. That is why this blog is special. It introduced me to other Pinoy blogs and now I think I follow more than 20 of them.. *gasp- I have an addiction*

cookie dough balls nestled in cream cheese heaven

If you check out the blog post, you’ll see how Connie, the blogger, talks about what exactly a cookie dough cheesecake is. It is pretty much self-explanatory. Cookie crust. Balls of cookie surprises in cheesecake. Familiar tangy, creamy cheesecake. ALL DELICIOUSLY CHECK!

FIRST A GLIMPSE OF MY BAKING NIGHT (05/12/2011):

Last week was definitely stressful so to deal with everything I baked like crazy. Posts on the others will follow so for now on to the cookie!

I try to use whatever we have around the house and look for recipes so I can bake or cook with them. The target: a bag of dark chocolate covered raisins. I bought it at an S&R sale while I was fasting from “bad” sweets and chocolates. I figured.. hey, it’s dark chocolate and raisins (I get my fruit fix). The packaging does say: “30% less fat than the leading chocolate brands and provide ½ serving of real fruit in every ¼ cup.” I was SOLD. So there, almost 3 weeks in the fridge, unopened, I had to do something about this.

I searched for a good oatmeal cookie recipe that incorporated Raisinets and found that a lot of people mix these chocolate chunky goodness in their cookie doughs. After going through probably 10 or so oatmeal Raisinets cookie recipes, I decided on a recipe from Nestle Kitchens. I liked that it called for a lot of cinnamon which I thought cut through the sweetness of the cookie quite well. Mine baked for 7-8 minutes and ended up with soft, chewy yumminess.. 🙂

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