These ube crinkle cookies turn the nutty, vanilla flavor of ube into a chewy crinkle cookie. Want something other than chocolate? Try this purple twist on a classic cookie.
It’s impossible to know who first baked a crinkle cookie, but the recipe for molasses crinkle cookies was published in the Betty Crocker Cooky Carnival in 1957. In this cookbook, a Mrs. Fred Fredell’s from St. Paul, Minnesota is credited with the recipe. A recipe for chocolate crinkle cookies was published in the Betty Crocker Cooky Book in 1963.
What is ube?
Ube is the purple yam from the Philippines. It’s often used in desserts after being boiled and mashed.
Many people get confused whether yams and sweet potatoes are the same, but they are totally unrelated. You can read what I wrote about the difference between ube and purple sweet potatoes when I made purple sweet potato latkes.
This recipe for ube crinkle cookies was this week’s submission to the reddit 52 weeks of baking (Week 42: Celebrity recipe or trend). The recipe starting point is the Chocolate Quakes recipe from the Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser. That book is in the top 10 of my favorite cookbooks.
Most crinkle cookies recipes use the “creaming” method, beating softened butter and sugar together. This mechanical leavening creates a cake-like texture to the crinkle cookie. The use of melted butter, like in that chocolate quakes recipe, gives you a chewier texture.
Using melted butter also means you don’t have to wait for your butter to soften. And it makes it easier to use a hand mixer, if that’s what you have.
Tips and tricks
The hardest part of this recipe is finding the ube halaya and ube extract. Ube halaya is ube jam (see picture below). You can buy ube halaya by the jar or make it yourself.
Ube extract comes in small bottles, just like vanilla extract. Both are likely to be found in Asian specialty markets or on Amazon. My local market only had an artificial extract made by McCormick.
Step by step
The image below shows all the steps in making these ube crinkle cookies. First sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small to medium-sized bowl (Panel #1). Beat the egg and sugar in another medium bowl if you are using a hand mixer or in the bowl of stand mixer (Panel #2). Then add the melted butter and ube extract (Panel #3).
Beat in the ube halaya (Panel #4), and then fold in the dry ingredients or beat them in on low (Panel #5). Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes. This is a great time to preheat the oven and clean up the mess that you’ve made!
When you’re ready to bake, put the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Use a medium-sized (#40) cookie scoop or two spoons to scoop out two tablespoons of dough. Drop the ball gently into your bowl of confectioners’ sugar and toss to coat (Panel #6).
You can store these cookies at room temperature for about a week. However, over time, the confectioners’ sugar will “melt” into the cookie.
If you want the whitest white of sugar dusting these ube crinkle cookies, the folks at Cooks Illustrated recommend first rolling crinkle cookies in granulated sugar and then in a thick layer of confectioners’ sugar. The confectioners’ sugar may be less likely to melt this way, but it’s too sweet for my taste.
Ube contains anthocyanins, the compounds that give color to red cabbage and butterfly pea flower. Butterfly pea flower is what’s in Empress 1908 gin that gives the beautiful purple color to this Empress gin sour and this lavender gimlet.
It’s best to freeze these cookies before baking. You can freeze balls of cookie dough just like other drop cookies. Scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer overnight, then transfer to a freezer bag and squeeze out all of the air. To bake, let the balls of dough come to room temperature on a lined cookie sheet before you roll them in the confectioners’ sugar. Bake as directed.
Ube Crinkle Cookies
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- 2 cups (250 grams or 8.8 ounces) bleached all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (150 grams or 5.3 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 8 tablespoons (113 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 teaspoons ube extract
- ½ cup ube halaya (ube jam)
- ½ cup confectioners' sugar, plus more if needed
- Sift or whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small to medium-sized bowl.2 cups (250 grams or 8.8 ounces) bleached all purpose flour, 1½ teaspoons baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt
- In a medium bowl if using a hand mixer or in the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the sugar and egg together on medium speed until it is light in color, 1 to 2 minutes.¾ cup (150 grams or 5.3 ounces) granulated sugar, 1 large egg
- Add the melted butter and ube extract and mix together for 1 minute.8 tablespoons (113 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, 2 teaspoons ube extract
- Add the ube halaya and mix.½ cup ube halaya (ube jam)
- Add the dry ingredients and mix on low or stir in by hand just until they are fully incorporated.
- Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F and ready a small bowl of confectioners' sugar and two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats.½ cup confectioners' sugar, plus more if needed
- Use a medium (#40) cookie scoop or two spoons to scoop balls of dough into the confectioners' sugar, and toss to coat thickly. Place on the baking sheets an inch to two apart.
- Bake for 12 minutes in the middle of the oven. The cookies will be slightly firm to touch but the inside will look soft.
- Let cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
- Crinkle cookies can be stored for a week at room temperature.
If you make these ube crinkle cookies, please leave a comment or rating.
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