Amazingly Soft Ube or Purple Sweet Potato Crinkle Cookies-Amazingly soft and gooey crinkle cookies with a hint of ube or purple sweet potatoes is a HUGE hit in our house. It’s hard to stay away from them.
*Please note that I will mention both Ube or purple sweet potatoes in this post, but they are not the same thing. I tried the recipe with both tubers. The recipe can be made with either one*
In case I haven’t mentioned (I’m pretty sure I have in other posts), I have a major weakness when it comes to potatoes and other roots vegetable. Whether it’s ube, sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, regular potatoes, cassava, rutabaga, etc, I LOVE them! My grandma used to coat thick slices of purple sweet potatoes in batter and then deep fried them and sprinkle with some salt just before serving! OMG! End of year is already unforgiving when it comes to calories! as much as I yearn for that fried purple sweet potatoes, I tried not to do it because I will be binging on them!
These amazingly soft ube or purple sweet potato crinkle cookies have become one of our family favorites every year. I like the crusty cookies on the outside but the inside is soooo soft, gooey and just melt in your mouth!! It has that hint of purple sweet potato that I love. Even if you don’t think you will like purple sweet potato or ube, you will not mind it in these cookies. For Real!
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UBE AND PURPLE SWEET POTATO
I used to think ube and purple sweet potato are the same thing, but they are not. The purple sweet potato you see here is the Japanese version that I got from Asian grocery store. Some call it Hawaiian purple sweet potato.
Ube (pronounced as oo-bay), on the other hand, is popular tubers in the Philippines. It’s purple color is more subtle, or more to the red/pink side compare to Japanese sweet potato which has deep purple but has that bluish tint to it. Don’t be mistaken with taro, which is completely different with ube. I don’t have fresh ube available here, but this is the thawed out frozen grated ube.
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UBE OR PURPLE SWEET POTATO CRINKLE COOKIES TROUBLESHOOTING
CAN I USE FROZEN UBE OR PURPLE SWEET POTATOES?
This past week, I’ve tried using the frozen grated ube because that’s the only form it’s available where I’m at. I need to squeeze out as much water as possible from the grated ube. Then I steam the grated ube for 20 minutes and mash them. The ube is a bit at a dry side. You can add a bit of water if you like, but not too much
Another option is to use ube jam (ube halaya). This is usually has been sweetened, so you may need to cut down on the amount of sugar. I have yet to try it with ube jam.
WHY MY UBE OR PURPLE SWEET POTATO CRINKLE COOKIES DOESN’T SHOW PURPLE COLOR?
I started getting comments from some of you who have tried this recipe and let me know that your cookies have turned green, or has green blue speckles, some even brownish in color.
I’ve made these crinkle cookies several times with both ube and purple sweet potatoes and here’ what I found:
-The color of the dough remains very light purple after beating with butter and adding regular baking powder or aluminum-free baking powder. So, you can use either baking powder, that doesn’t cause the color change in this case.
-The color change to light brown after adding an egg. This is probably due to the purple and yellow from the yolk forming that light brown color.
Purple sweet potato dough
-The color of the dough remains purple after beating with butter and adding regular baking powder or aluminum-free baking powder. You can use either baking powder, that doesn’t cause the color change in this case.
-The color of the dough doesn’t change much after adding an egg. This is probably because the purple color in purple sweet potato is much deeper.
HOW TO GET PURPLE COLOR CRINKLE COOKIES THEN?
ADDING UBE EXTRACT OR FOOD COLORING
With ube, which the color of the purple is s much more subtle and weaker IMO, it’s hard for the natural color to shine through. SOOOO, I added food coloring for a consistent result. I know it’s not an ideal solution, considering some people, including myself, trying to stay away from artificial coloring as much I can, but if you want to consistently get nice purple color cookies, food coloring will come in handy. There are too many variables or unknown to me and I wish I’m a chemist to be able to tell you what could have gone wrong or didn’t happen!
I’ve read other recipes and wondering how they can get the color to be consistent and all of the recipes that I’ve seen, calls for use of ube extract, which will deepen the purple color of the cookies. I don’t have ube extract, and so I use mixture of blue and red to make the purple color.
HOW DO THE COOKIES TASTE LIKE?
The cookies have that light taste of ube or purple sweet potato in it, which is really nice! Kids really are digging these cookies.
TIPS ON HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY MAKE THIS UBE OR PURPLE SWEET POTATO CRINKLE COOKIES
1. Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately
This will make sure things get mixed evenly and no funny taste on some spots and we prevent overmixing of the flour too
2. Chill the dough
The cookie dough is very sticky and need to be chilled for at least 4 hours or overnight is fine too. The dough may change color slightly to greenish or brownish (I notice this if I use purple sweet potato, but not on ube), this is normal. The inside of the dough is still purple
3. Let the cookie dough soften
Let the dough out at room temperature for about 15 minutes and it will soften and you can start scooping and shape the dough
If the dough is getting to soft or wet after you are done shaping them into balls, put the tray back into the freezer for about 15 minutes. Don’t dip them in the powdered sugar yet. The refrigeration will prevent the cookie dough from spreading too much while baking. Then coat them in powdered sugar and bake immediately
5. Bake at low temperature
The recipe calls for baking at 325F. This will yield very soft cookies. Don’t be shocked by how soft they are when just out from the oven. Let them cool down for 1 minute and then transfer to cooling rack to let them cool down completely
HOW TO STORE THESE UBE OR PURPLE SWEET POTATO CRINKLE COOKIES
Store them in an air-tight container (make sure it’s really air-tight) or zipper lock bag with a piece of bread, no more than half size of the bread, at room temperature for 3-4 days. This will help to keep the cookies fresh longer.
For longer storage, I would suggest placing them in a freezer bag and freeze them. They can be re-crisped in the oven at 425 F for 4-5 minutes.
These crinkle cookies are made with Japanese purple sweet potato.
These crinkle cookies are made with ube.
*I decided to update this post based on inputs from people who have tried this recipe but does not get purple color cookies. This recipe has been tested with both ube (purple yam) and regular purple sweet potatoes*
Amazingly Soft Ube or Purple Sweet Potato Crinkle Cookies
Amazingly soft and gooey crinkle cookies with a hint of ube or purple sweet potatoes is a HUGE hit in our house. It’s hard to stay away from them.
- 120 grams confectioners’ sugar for rolling & dusting cookies
Food coloring (if not using ube extract):
- Start with 4 drops blue food color
- Start with 6 drops of red food color
Place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to mix. Prick the potato all over with a fork. Place in a heat-proof bowl and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until soft. Peel and then mash with a fork. Get about 200 grams of purple sweet potatoes or ube to make cookies, you can eat the rest 🙂
Place mashed potatoes or ube and butter in a stand mixer bowl and fix the paddle attachment to the mixer to cream them until smooth and creamy. Add sugar, vanilla extract, and mix until combined. I need to scrap the side of the mixing bowl halfway to make sure it gets everything. Add in eggs and continue to mix for another 2 minutes on speed
Turn the speed to low and gradually add in the flour mixture and let it mix until combine. Add food coloring or ube extract and continue to mix until the color is even and you are happy with the purple color. The dough is very sticky at this point. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I let it refrigerate overnight. Don't be alarm if the dough changes color to darker green or brownish on the outside after refrigeration, the inside is still purple
Let the cookie dough out on the counter for about 15 minutes to let it soften a bit. Mix the dough a bit and the Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. Scoop about 1 Tbsp of the cookie dough out
Roll it into a ball and place them on lined cookie sheet. If you feel that the dough is getting too sticky and wet by the time you are done shaping them, pop the whole tray in the freezer for 15 minutes. This will prevent the cookies from spreading out too much when you bake them. Only get the tray out when you are ready to bake them. Then generously roll them in confectioners' sugar. Roll them several times to make sure each ball is well-coated
Pop them into the oven. I bake them one tray at a time because my oven is just weird. You'll know your oven better. Let it bake for 14 minutes (my oven took about 16 minutes). They appear to be still very soft when you pull them out from the oven, but they will toughen up a bit as they cool down. The inside is still so soft and gooey
*If you use frozen Japanese purple sweet potato or frozen grated ube, make sure you squeeze out water as much as you can and then steam them and mash. The water content will affect the consistency of the dough. The end result of using the frozen potato or ube, do give the cookies a more "chewy" texture compare to if you use fresh potato or ube.
*If you use ube jam, you may need to adjust the amount of sugar as usually ube halaya (ube jam) is usually sweetened.