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Ube Heart Thumbprint Cookies

Not too sweet, soft, buttery ube heart thumbprint cookies filled with a white chocolate coconut ganache. The dough is quick and simple to make, requiring no chilling. The ganache is also made right in the microwave, making this recipe great for beginners.

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Ube thumbprint cookies on a wire rack
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About these ube thumbprint cookies

On February 4th, 2023, I taught an online baking class through Subtle Asian Baking’s Facebook Group! I hopped on a Zoom call with a bunch of other people, and we all baked these UBAE cookies together. It was SO much fun.

And now that AANHPI is here, I thought I’d share the full recipe with everyone. 🙂

Ube cookies on parchment paper

And, if you’d like to see what some of the students whipped up, check out the amazing pictures below!

FAQ

What is ube?

If you’re not familiar with ube (pronunciation: oo-beh), it is a purple yam native to the Philippines. Ube is sometimes confused with another vegetable called taro, which has an earthier flavor and is used in both savory + sweet dishes.

On the other hand, ube is sweeter and often described as having vanilla and nutty notes. It’s commonly used in desserts, such as ice cream, cake, or jam. You could just use ube extract in this recipe, but I used ube extract and rehydrated ube halaya. You can find these ingredients in some Asian markets, especially Filipino ones, but if all else fails, you can buy ube extract/halaya or powdered ube online!

Can you make these vegan?

Yes, you can! 

Instead of regular butter, you can swap in high quality vegan butter made for baking. Make sure to use a good brand—some brands are very high in water content and melt at lower temperatures, yielding very flat cookies. I recommend brands like Miyokos and Country Crock.

You can also omit the egg. First, follow the recipe up until you add the flour, baking powder/soda, and salt. Slowly mix the dry ingredients in. If the dough seems too crumbly, add a tablespoon of alternative milk at a time (2-4 tbsp total), until the dough comes together. The finished dough should be thick, but scoopable.

Lastly, you can replace the chocolate for a vegan brand, like Pascha chocolate.

Can you make these gluten-free?

Absolutely! I recommend using 1:1 gluten-free flour.

Tips for baking and decorating

Properly measure the flour

I always like to measure my ingredients with a kitchen scale for consistent, accurate results. But if you’re measuring with cups, make sure you follow this tip: gently spoon in the flour into the cup until it’s full, then scrape the excess off using the back of a knife or offset spatula.

If you scoop the cup directly into the flour bag or container, the flour may get compacted, and you will be adding in more flour than necessary. On the other hand, if your flour is clumpy, you could be adding in chunks of flour into the cup with gaps in between them, possibly adding less flour than required. These instances can cause tougher or even really flat cookies, since the proper ratio of dry:wet ingredients isn’t met.

So, for best results, use a scale. If you don’t have one, gently spoon and level the flour into your measuring cup!

Creating the heart indents

Using your thumb, pinky, or thin end of a rubber spatula, press heart indents into the cookie dough balls. The deeper the cavity, the more strawberry ganache you’ll be able to fit in later on!

*Tip: If the dough cracks on the sides, you can use your fingers to smooth it out. If the dough is too sticky, lightly wet your finger or rubber spatula before creating each indent.

Storing the ube cookies

Store these ube cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week! 

I really hope you enjoy this recipe. If you make these coconut ube thumbprint cookies, I’d love to see them. You can tag me at #bitesbybianca / @bitesbybianca on Instagram. Enjoy! 

For other fun cookie recipes, check out the cookies tab on my blog!

Heart ube thumbprint cookies on a wire rack

Ube Heart Thumbprint Cookies

Bites by Bianca
Not too sweet, soft, buttery ube heart thumbprint cookies filled with a white chocolate coconut ganache. The dough is quick and simple to make, requiring no chilling. The ganache is also made right in the microwave, making this recipe great for beginners.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 16 cookies

Ingredients

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour (180g)
  • ½ tsp salt

Wet ingredients:

For the coconut ganache:

  • 4 tbsp white chocolate chips, melted (40g)
  • 1 ½ tbsp canned coconut milk (21g)
  • ¼ tsp coconut extract
  • ¼ tsp ube extract

For rolling (optional):

  • 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut (12g)

Instructions
 

For the cookie dough:

  • **If using ube halaya, only use 1/8 c  granulated sugar to offset the sweetness. If using mashed ube, use 1/4 c granulated sugar.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C and line two baking trays with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  • In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (can alternatively use hand mixer, whisk, or fork!), mix the butter and sugar on medium speed until combined. Scrape bottom of bowl.
  • Mix in the egg and ube extract until smooth.
  • Add in the ube halaya or mashed ube, stir until combined.
  • Dump in all of the flour and salt, mixing until no dry spots remain.
  • Use small cookie dough scoop to gather dough (about 1 ½ tablespoon each). Shape it into a very smooth ball, then place onto lined baking tray.
    Optional: Roll into unsweetened shredded coconut.
    Place balls about 3-4 inches apart. They will not spread much while baking.
  • Using your thumb, pinky, or thin end of a rubber spatula, press heart indents into the cookie dough balls. The deeper the cavity, the more coconut ganache you'll be able to fit in later on!
    *Tip: If the dough cracks on the sides, you can use your fingers to smooth it out.
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes. Cookies should have slightly firm edges and retain their color. They should not be browned.
  • Let cool on pan for about 5-10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to fully cool.

For the coconut ganache:

  • Add the white chocolate and canned coconut milk into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. Microwave at 10-second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted.
  • Once smooth, stir in the ube and coconut extracts.
  • If the ganache seems too liquidy, add in a few pieces of white chocolate chips and melt. If it's too thick, add a splash of coconut milk.
  • Use a small spoon to fill each cavity with ganache. The ganache should start to set within a couple of minutes. 
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
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Did you try this recipe?Let us know how it was!

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Ganache made in the microwave? Yes, please! These cookies are soft and chewy and so good! I used halaya in mine with the suggested 1/8c of granulated sugar and it is perfect! The ganache on top really brings it all together. If you’re using the bottom of a rubber spatula, I recommend keeping a tiny bowl of water next to you to dip the end in, so it doesn’t stick to the cookie! And you can always re-poke the heart right after you take them out of the oven if they lost their shape/ aren’t deep enough!

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