Polvorone cookie bars (with chocolate cookies)

polvorones cookie bar

You’ve heard of polvorón, right?

Every Filipino child, past and present, knows what a polvoron is. I’d say that this generation is lucky enough to have the opportunity to sample a wide variety. The most commercially known are the ones sold in every Goldilocks bakeshop. I’m certain however that there are more of these specialty shops out there who grew its increasing number of customers solely through word of mouth ( and perhaps through food bloggers like myself). I have yet to sample their polvoron but I’m sure they’re out there.

I won’t consider myself to have an special affinity (read: addiction) towards these sweet treat. I like it, that’s a fact. The polvoron and I prefer to meet once or twice a year. Like a meeting of long lost friends or lovers making the union feel refreshing, renewed and rejuvenating. It’s like falling inlove. I’m romanticizing, uh, before I go chanel cupid let’s go back to my main topic.

I’ve been considering making polvoron for my little pals (Vince, Dian, Hanna and Kevin) as their summer break treat but I didn’t realize it would be difficult looking for a traditional recipe.

I wanted to make something that isn’t like the ones sold in sari-sari stores OR the ones from Goldilocks. So, by the power vested in me, I searched online for an alternative treat and there it is. Popping in on my screen like a rabbit out of a magician’s hat.

I found one from Spicie Foodie’s April post. I had to make changes in her procedure and recipes due to my limited kitchen equipment namely: oven. I know, I’ve been complaining about that busted oven since last year’s oatmeal cookie and red velvet cake failure but it is not wise for us to buy a new oven since I’ll barely use it anyway.

So yes, I used an oven toaster. Please check Spicie Foodie’s site for the oven baked recipe, if you’d prefer that.

Here’s my version.

polvoron cookie bar

Polvorone cookie bars (with chocolate cookies)
makes 16-18 bars
1 cup flour (approx value)
2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
¼ cup powdered sugar***
Pinch of salt
6 pcs chocolate cookies, omit the cream filling (oreos, crumbled THEN powdered)
2 tbsp powdered milk

Procedure:*

In a large bowl, mix the flour, powdered sugar, pinch of salt, powdered chocolate cookies and powdered milk. Then add unsalted melted butter.
Line the small oven toaster tray with parchment paper. In the center of the tray, gather a small amount of the crumbly dough into a cookie cutter to shape your polvoron, press gently so it contains its shape.
*My oven toaster was a bit smaller than (about 4.5″ X 7.5″) most so I can only make at five each time.
**Please test at least one cookie first. I didn’t have a digitally measured heat so I timed the cookies to cook in 5 minutes (+ 2 minutes cooling time in the toaster). Spicie Foodie’s recipe stated she pre heated the oven at 180°C then baked at 8-10 minutes.

The polvoron should come out holding its’ shape but still soft and crumbly when eaten. That’s how you’d know you’ve made it right. Just a reminder whether you’re using the traditional oven or the unconventional oven toaster like I did, should you bake some more, take notice of the residual heat from the oven first.

Continue baking until you’ve used up all the crumbly dough.When your done baking and cooling, wrap the cookies in colorful cellophane wrap or Japanese papers.

*** I find that powdered sugar is the best way to control the sweetness of this polvoron version.

I have here a piece of information that you might find useful.

polvoron info

And yes, the kids loved it, specially Vince. I think Vince is my biggest fan. His mother said that he eats every and any type of food I feed him even if he normally doesn’t eat them. Isn’t that the nicest compliment of all? I remember one time when he ate a big fat piece of bitter gourd and red pepper egg roll and asked for more. Oh that was a surprise for his mother and I he was around 2 1/2 year old  that time.

 

 

The famous halo-halo

halohalo

Normally I couldn’t be bothered to write or make a complete entry about halo halo. I, however, am compelled and so I decided to do something I wouldn’t do.
Halo halo has ensconced herself in every Filipino’s summer. Many consider it a queen of summer. Regal. Majestic. Humble. Simple. The halo halo can be anything she wants herself to be.
Nothing has ever towered over halo halo when it comes to cold “merienda”. Literally translated to mix-mix in English, the halo halo prides itself as a melting pot of colourful, sweet and diverse toppings. Most common are:
sweetened “saba” bananas,
boiled sweet potato,
garbanzos (chickpeas),
boiled white and red beans (preferably kidney),
winter melon,
kaong (palm fruit),
nata de coco (coconut gel),
candied jackfruit,
sweet corn kernels,
macapuno strips (coco sport),
sago (tapioca pearls),
agar-agar (gulaman) ,
cornflakes,
semi-crushed salted peanuts,
haleyang ube (purple yam jam)
and for a more special treat a scoop of any ice cream, a delicate rectangular serving of caramel custard (leche flan) and a sprinkling of either pinipig (rice crispies)., served in a tall glass or bowl.
These are arranged on top of shaved ice or crushed ice. The last two vital ingredients (yes, there’s more) would be the evaporated milk and sugar. Whose job is to blend the ingredients altogether in a creamy-sweet delight that is the envy of every (among others) coco-pandan, mais con hielo, saba con hielo and my simple but only favourite: milkshake.
It is not necessary to have all of these ingredients at once. Every individual may choose according to his taste, budget and location. Hotels and most restaurants have a more sophisticated selection.
Now tell me, why don’t I like halo-halo?
It has all the ingredients that I like, individually.
Right, I got it.
Oh, right, our neighbouring Asian countries each has their own similar dessert.
Ais kacang – a similar dessert from Malaysia and Singapore
Cendol – a similar dessert from Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore
Sâm bổ lượng – a similar dessert from Vietnam
Kakigōri – a similar dessert from Japan
Baobing – a similar dessert from China
Patbingsu – a similar dessert from Korea

***

This is an off topic.
I have fallen in love with Ed Sheeran’s “Lego House” single. Rupert Grint (my favourite amongst the Harry Potter casts) may have something to do with it but I’m certain that the song alone is more than enough to make me swoon. Really it hits real hard.

Cassava Cake, soft heavenly

MAJOR CORRECTION.
My sincerest apologies for my grave mistake. I thank teee_two (from twitter) for the questions otherwise I won’t notice.

CASSAVA CAKE

7 cups grated cassava (not juice)
1 can evaporated milk
7 ¾ cups gata (coconut milk)
2 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
4 cups refined white sugar
1 250g unsalted butter

Topping:
1 250ml condensed milk
1 cup grated cheese

PROCEDURE:

Before doing anything else, squeeze as much juice as you can from the grated cassava. Since the juice has a bitter taste discard it afterwards.

1. Preheat oven at 400° F. Cream melted butter and sugar. Add one egg at a time.
2. Pour in vanilla, gata (coconut milk), evaporated milk and GRATED cassava*. Mix thoroughly.
3. Slowly pour mixture in any thick pan (any shape) and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. The result should be custardy soft texture and toothpick should come out clean when inserted.
4. Add topping a few minutes before cassava is cooked.**

Notes:
* NOT JUICE as a previously wrote. The juice is bitter, throw it out.

**Simmer the toppings for at least 3-5 minutes over medium heat. Set aside. Once the cassava is done (firm, check the center it cooks lasts), add the toppings then bake for 15 more minutes.