If pumpkin is for autumn, ube is for winter. Replacing subdued, smokey orange with bold shades of purple, there’s no denying that the vibrant hue alone is a huge attraction. Naturally sweet with subtle hints of vanilla and toasted nuts, ube is the clear winner when it comes to dessert. Start your annual holiday cookie platter with Ube Thumbprint Cookies, glistening like jewels in a sea of browns and whites, for a stand-out homemade gift that no one can refuse.
What is ube?
Let’s start by clarifying what ube isn’t. Ube are different from taro and purple sweet potatoes, despite the common misconception. Ube are yams, most commonly found in Filipino cuisine and particularly popular in desserts. Their vivid magenta pigmentation creates brilliantly colored treats, and as such, can be found as powdered and liquid extracts. Fresh ube can still be tricky to find in the US, which is why ube extract comes in handy for all your essential baking needs.
While most commercial ube extract does have added artificial flavoring, it’s the easiest, most accessible way to add that unmistakable essence whenever and where ever you crave it. When it comes to recipes with a delicate balance of dry and liquid ingredients, it’s the best way to infuse the goodness of ube without throwing off the texture.
What else is ube extract good for?
Once you have a bottle, the potential for ube extract is endless. It’s particularly well-suited for use in:
- Ice cream
- Frosting and icing
- Pudding and custard
- And of course, cookies!
When it comes to cut-out cookies, these are the GOAT. Easy to make, shape, and bake, this dough is a dream to work with. More importantly, the soft, tender bite and balanced sweetness makes an ideal base for any festive flavors. Beyond the ube base, put your own personalized finishing touch on each batch with any jam, marmalade, or fruit preserves you fancy. Mix and match to make every bite a little bit different!
A few fruit flavors that pair particularly well with ube are:
Put a flavorful twist on tradition this year and invite ube to your cookie swap. It won’t take long before it becomes the life of the party.
- 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/4 Cup Vegan Butter
- 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Ube Extract
- 1/2 Cup Jam, Marmalade, or Preserves
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
- In either a large metal bowl or a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. While you can certainly bring this dough together by hand, it will require some vigorous stirring, so I would advise bringing out the heavy artillery if you have it!
- Meanwhile, combine the butter, sugar, and maple syrup in a small saucepan and heat gently. Cook the mixture and stir gently, just until the butter has melted and the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Pour the hot liquid into the bowl of dry ingredients, immediately followed by the ube extract, and mix well. It will be very thick and somewhat difficult to mix, but give it all you’ve got and don’t waste time; it will become increasingly firmer as it cools.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, press it into a ball, and roll it out to about an 1/8th of an inch in thickness. Cut it into your desired shapes with cookie cutters and transfer the cookies over to a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or piece of parchment paper.
- Use the back of a spoon or your fingers to gently press an indentation into the centers. Fill the centers with 1 - 2 teaspoons of your favorite jam, marmalade, or preserves. Baked for 14 - 16 minutes, until the edges of your cookies are just barely browned.
- Let the cookies sit for a minute on the baking sheet before moving them over to a wire rack to cool.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 87Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 41mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.