24 Feb2009


I love these photos of some chocolate chip cookies cooling on cookie racks over some newspapers. The Teen took the photos a few weeks ago, while waiting for some freshly baked cookies to cool down. We probably make a batch of chocolate chip cookies at least once a month, and The Teen is pretty good about mixing and baking them when she is feeling a sugar/chocolate deficiency. Sometimes they (she and the cook) just use the basic toll house recipe on the back of the package of chocolate chips, other times we do the version of Maida Heatter, and a few times we have done the “Best Chocolate Chip Cookie” recipe featured in the New York Times several months ago, more complicated and time consuming, but delicious. And the more I think about cookies, I realized we didn’t have a favorite Philippine cookie that we baked up at home, in the same vein as say a chocolate chip cookies. Don’t get me wrong, I have lots of local favorites, with broas or ladyfingers from Bohol my all-time favorite. Then there are barquillos, or galletas, lenguas, otap, or uraro (those sandy dryish things that are not my favorite), etc. And rosquillos, that Cebu favorite, are cookies that have been made for at least 102 years… But not a single cookie strikes me as “National Cookie” material, if you know what I mean…


Cookies or some relative of them probably go back many centuries, but the most favorite and famous cookie of North America, and possibly a wider swath of the cookie eating world, the chocolate chip cookie, is roughly only 70 years old. So what would your favorite “local” cookie be? Are we not a nation fond of cookies? Is the humidity a critical factor why we don’t seem to have “cookies” just on standby in a cookie jar? Is the concept of a cookie just so alien to us? It’s too western a method of baking? Do we not have butter on hand that often. Were cookies just a wealthy person’s treat? Or is it because so few households actually have an oven that we can bake cookies in? Did we rely on town bakers and specialists to make large batches of cookies and we just purchased them rather than making them at home? Hmmmm, the more I think about this, the more I wonder why I can’t think of ONE cookie that would be our equivalent of say, the chocolate chip cookie… And is there a Filipino word that translates to cookie, in the same way that cakes are keyk in Filipino? Then again, what would North America’s equivalent of our own suman be? :)



  1. kitkathie says:

    Hello MM, now that you’ve mentioned it… you’re right! We should have our very own National Cookie… but it’s gonna take time to choose…hehehe lahat kasi masarap!

    Feb 24, 2009 | 8:43 pm


  2. Notice: Undefined variable: oddcomment in /home/marketman/marketmanila.com/wp-content/themes/marketmanila-v2/comments.php on line 33
  3. millet says:

    MM, i’d go for the following, in this order:

    1. rosquillos

    2. uraro

    3. pan (or tinapay)de san nicolas

    4. those small, very flaky squares called “patatas” here in mindanao, but which are called by another name in cavite (where they come from, i think – can’t remember the name right now – will somebody from cavite please tell us? i won’t be able to sleep until i remember the name)

    5. salvaro (also from cebu, i think. they’re very thin, crisp ovals that have a faint coconut taste

    Feb 24, 2009 | 8:48 pm

  4. Mimi says:

    biskwit = cookie?
    fave local cookie = lengua de gato/ langue du chat, kaso hindi ata siya original pinoy at european in origin
    fave kanto panaderia cookie = is pilipit a cookie?

    without thinking of if it is pinoy or not, in our home the fave cookies are: sugar cookies, double chocolate chip, chocolate crinkles and lengua de gato.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 8:50 pm

  5. Rafael Castillo says:

    When I was still in college and had made a Christmas Break trip to Manila (my first in years), I brought a couple plastic bags of polvoron for my roommates to enjoy.

    I left them out on our apartment’s kitchen table with a note for them to help themselves. That afternoon I ran into one roommate walking across campus.

    “Yo Raf! Did you get those cookies in the Philippines? They were great!”

    It took me a few moments for it to register that he was talking about the polvoron. Haha! Never thought of them as cookies before. They were the flat medal/disc shaped ones, so I guess from the shape, they were taken to be “cookies”. =)

    Feb 24, 2009 | 8:51 pm

  6. millet says:

    i wouldn’t call otap, hojaldres and their kin as pinoy cookies because i think they’re not too different from “financiers”. my husband and kids love this cookie that comes in pairs and is coated with grated coconut, but i hate them (so i can’t remember what they’re called).

    Feb 24, 2009 | 8:56 pm

  7. Angela says:

    I also consider polvoron a “cookie”, only because I don’t know what category to put it in!

    Feb 24, 2009 | 9:03 pm

  8. Rafael Castillo says:

    @Angela: Haha. I always considered polvoron as a “sweet”, not really a cookie since polvoron isn’t baked is it? It more “fashioned”/”molded”. Before that encounter with my roommate in Boston, I always considered polvoron as, well, just polvoron. =)

    Feb 24, 2009 | 9:14 pm

  9. millet says:

    oh, no…i love broas, although that’s not a pinoy original.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 9:29 pm

  10. Cristy says:

    Growing up, we always have broas (because it’s soft enough for my father’s aunt thus we also developed a liking – no, a loving – to it) and Titay’s rosquillos on stock. These two plus Ovaltine (chocolate powder drink) were usually after-school snack. And it wouldn’t be complete if we don’t dip the broa or rosquillos into the chocolate drink before putting it into our mouths (to my mother’s chagrin!). :) But yes, it would be interesting to have a “National Cookie” though choosing one would be a little bit difficult.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 10:50 pm

  11. Bernice says:

    peanut kisses, salvaro, otap

    here’s a cool trick I learned from ATK if you want thicker chocolate chip cookies. chill the dough. Form the dough into balls, then pull apart into halves. put them back together with the cut sides facing up.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 10:50 pm

  12. titashi says:

    honestly, i think most pinoy families can’t afford to buy a good oven. it is i think considered a luxury to the “masa” thus we don’t have the cookie loving mentality here. Or maybe, just maybe pinoys prefer bread, kakanins or other type of merienda that can be easily bought from a bakery or street vendor. just my thoughts…

    Feb 24, 2009 | 10:56 pm

  13. titashi says:

    oooppsss…i forgot my fave cookie is called “pacencia”, i remember we used to buy it from a bakery store in aurora blvd/san juan area, i think La Pacita, who sells them now in the grocery. But i like the freshly baked ones from their old bakery. But i am not sure if this is a pinoy cookie though :)

    Feb 24, 2009 | 11:08 pm

  14. Miguel says:

    The cookies/biskwit I remember eating as a kid were:
    1. camachile
    2. galletas de patatas, a.k.a. tengang daga(??)
    3. pilipit
    4. binanli, this is the square-hard-flaky cookie that’s not much fun to eat; as a kid I was asked to pound this in the almires until it turns into crumbs which were then used as ingredient for sarsa ng lechon or fish sarciado.
    5. and what I most commonly ate as a kid, MARIE.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 11:12 pm

  15. myra_p says:

    Lengua de Gato, regardless of origin.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 11:18 pm

  16. odie says:

    I think Piyaya (sorry I’m not sure of the spelling)can be a contender if we are to choose for our “national cookie”, they’re really delicious!!

    One of the most requested pasalubong for our relatives in the US is the “polvoron” and i checked the packaging of one famous brand here in the Phils and it is labelled as “Toasted Cookies”, therefore, that’s what i answered to the Immigration Officer that asked us.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 11:22 pm

  17. Pat Gil says:

    otap baby otap….

    Feb 24, 2009 | 11:30 pm

  18. danney says:

    I vote for polvoron, Goldilocks’ coconut macaroon and pilipit!!

    Feb 24, 2009 | 11:33 pm

  19. millet says:

    oh, yes…how could i have forgottn paciencia!!

    Feb 24, 2009 | 11:43 pm

  20. ria says:

    long time lurker here and was brought out of lurkerdom because of pacencia! =)

    growing up, i loved pacencia too and bought it from la pacita. near our school, i also used to buy animal crackers from m.y.san (okay, doesn’t count as a filipino cookie though)

    i saw a pacencia recipe from apple pie, patis & paté blog and made it last week…it brought back so many memories! not to mention my half pinoy/half viking kids loved it!

    i also love eating uraro and puto seko! yum yum!

    Feb 25, 2009 | 12:33 am

  21. erch says:

    i think the reason we dont have a cookie is because we’re not exactly a nation of bakers. while we do have the pacencias and the uraros, they’re not exactly something that the whole town makes like adobo.

    I would have said that our sumans and bibingkas were more familiar to everyone as sweets, but come to think of it, these sweets aren’t also something that the whole town would know how to make.

    if the premise is the chocolate chip cookie (something that just about every home in America knows how to make) then maybe there isnt a national cookie, but the question would go as far as having a national sweet/dessert. would it be leche flan? given the premise, i think the national sweet would be fruit salad

    but forced to choose a national baked, wheat flour-based, non-rising sweet, my choices would include:
    a. Crinkles–just about every local bakery has it; and this the basic cookie every Pinoy aspiring/home baker has tried.
    b. brownies (is this a cake?)
    c. buttered toast with sugar
    d. macaroons made with coconut sapal

    Feb 25, 2009 | 12:42 am

  22. angelbride says:

    Piyaya or otap made in Silay City, Negros Occidental.The best!

    Feb 25, 2009 | 1:08 am

  23. Charles Yao says:

    This may not be sophisticated selections, (and they are not Cookies) but in my childhood years in the Motherland (age 9-12), Pastillas de Ube, Coconut Macaroons from Goldilocks, and Matamis na Bao on Tikoy for Chinese New Year. (Well the Ampao red envelopes helped)


    Feb 25, 2009 | 1:27 am

  24. Rich A. says:

    I think chocolate crinkles are becoming more and more popular in Luzon, especially with the emergence of bakeries like Hungry Pac, and also in Baguio they sell crinkles in jars like they do with peanut brittle or lengua de gato. Chocolate Crinkles has been a favorite of mine since my teen years and I often baked it for Christmas to give away to my friends. You pose a pretty good point: growing up, my family didn’t have an oven where my mom can bake cakes or pastries,, it was much easier to just go to Goldilocks or the nearest bakery. We eventually were able to afford a stove with an oven….and that’s how my passion for baking started.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 1:56 am

  25. Sandy says:

    It’s rosquillos for me! :)

    Feb 25, 2009 | 2:07 am

  26. lojet says:

    I vote for rosquillos too.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 2:30 am

  27. sister says:

    How come no one sells a pinipig cookie? They are delicious. Just toast some fresh green or white pinipig with corn oil and use the recipe on the cover of Quaker oats. I’ve been making them for years. If you reduce the flour by 1/4 c, you cake make them thin and extra crispy, almost like a tuile.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 2:49 am

  28. Anna says:

    This isn’t cookie related, but I found your Odong photo and recipe on this site:

    Ang laking Kumpanya hindi man lang mka.luto ng sariling Odong =)

    Feb 25, 2009 | 2:55 am

  29. Maria Clara says:

    I believe both puto seko (made out of regular rice) and pinipig cookies (glutinous rice) should qualify to be so-called national cookies. They are made out of rice derivatives, coconut milk, eggs and sugar. Before the advent of gas or electric oven people used a clay oven that was fired both on top and bottom with firewoods or charcoal like the one you featured before from the broas bakery in Bohol. The one I know of is made out of clay/terra cotta that comes in round or rectangular in shape which is enclosed all around and has an opening on the side where you slide in your goodies to be baked and close with a piece of metal sheet to contain the heat. They also used this clay oven to bake other goodies like ensaimada, empanaditas, mamon, mamon tostado, boat tarts, coconut macaroons and many more. I give credit to our inherent ingenious and innovative traits that our forefather came up with their baking oven. I am still amazed with my grandmother up to this time how she was able to maintain the heat of the clay oven with no thermometer in use just eyeballing the amount of firewoods or charcoal being fired and feeling the heat in the oven with her hands.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 2:55 am

  30. sanojmd says:

    1. OTAP
    4. BROAS

    Feb 25, 2009 | 3:12 am

  31. Dale says:

    1) Otap
    2) Turones
    3) Biscocho

    Feb 25, 2009 | 3:23 am

  32. Ona says:

    Well for me growing up in the Philippines, I’ve always regarded the San Nicholas cookies as my personal “National Cookie” – homemade by a friend of my lola. Problem is, she passed away years ago and the secret recipe & cookie business is left to an heir. So Dandy’s San Nicholas cookies still taste as good pero not the same way I remember it to be.

    Back to why it’s my personal “National Cookie” – we always have it for Christmas time, as a merienda, with hot chocolate. It’s as frequent in my life as chocolate chip cookies.

    On another note, just realized how the Philippines has so much dessert varieties! Philippines to the rest of Asia is like Paris to the rest of Europe when it comes to pastries and sweets–sana Pinas could capitalize on this. Other Southeast Asian cuisine are more popular worldwide than the Philippines…but on the category of pastries and desserts they are lacking. I’ve tried desserts in Japan and China (various mochi, sweet bean cakes, etc.)but I feel like we can top them. So if we’re having a hard time introducing Philippine cuisine to foreigners, maybe we can target them with Philippine desserts since this hasn’t been targeted as much.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 3:32 am

  33. Ona says:

    BTW..want to add that if we were talking about the “National Cupcake” then Puto will be the easy answer, Kutchinta 2nd.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 3:35 am

  34. Divine G says:

    From the old days in the Phils., when I was young, I loved galletas de patatas, it has a Spanish name but we were under Spain for a very long time, hence most of the food that we like have Spanish names. I also like silvanas – is that Spanish? those different cookies in a big container from the Panaderia de Molo in Iloilo. I also like the paciencia, mamon tostado, biscocho from Iloilo and Bacolod, turrones de casuy, also the barquillos from Iloilo and Bacolod.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 4:09 am

  35. Anna says:

    “my husband and kids love this cookie that comes in pairs and is coated with grated coconut, but i hate them (so i can’t remember what they’re called). ”

    Millet, this used to be my favorite too, but I don’t remember the name anymore!

    Feb 25, 2009 | 4:16 am

  36. Jun Bautista says:

    It would have to be piyaya for me, as well. Just recently had to learn ow to make this at home, given the local pinoy grocery chain here decided to stop carrying the frozen heat-and-serve kind.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 4:34 am

  37. lety says:

    I vote for:

    1. San Nicholas
    2. Uraro

    Feb 25, 2009 | 4:45 am

  38. Artisan Chocolatier says:


    Feb 25, 2009 | 5:51 am

  39. Marketman says:

    Mimi, yes, BISKWIT must be it. Odd how we would choose the English term “biscuit” as the root word for our own BISKWIT, rather than the American “cookie” though “biscuit” has been around for a longer time…

    Feb 25, 2009 | 5:55 am

  40. eej says:

    Received some Otap as pasalubong from friends in Cebu and decided to bring a bag to work on Mon. The Otap was a hit and found out it was a perfect with tea.

    My choice for top Filipino cookies are:

    Feb 25, 2009 | 6:08 am

  41. linda says:

    Sister,your pinipig biskwit sounds interesting> I’ll try making them sometime.

    MM,it’s Otap and Uraro for me!

    Feb 25, 2009 | 6:09 am

  42. rach says:

    My personal favorite local cookie is roscas from Barugo, Leyte. I also love the delicias de pili from Charito’s. But the latter probably doesn’t travel well. The batches I buy from the Charito’s Tacloban branch are really delicious whereas those sold at the weekend markets in Manila leave much to be desired. One other pasalubong hit with my Manila officemates is Charito’s hopia de pili. But I don’t know if that can be classified as a cookie.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 6:53 am

  43. Ling says:

    This is my list for Pambansang Cookie

    1. Rosquillos
    2. Otap
    3. Salvaro de Cebu

    Feb 25, 2009 | 6:55 am

  44. aggy says:

    polvoron, rosquillos and mamon tostado….yumm!

    Feb 25, 2009 | 7:10 am

  45. millet says:

    oh yes, rach, the roscas from Leyte are an undiscovered treasure! my kids love the drumstick shape, while everyobody else loves the anise flavor with lard undertones, hahaha.

    sister, a bakeshop in iloilo sells those thin pinipig cookies in at least three flavors. do you use the pinipg in place of the oats, or in addition to all the ingredients?

    Feb 25, 2009 | 7:34 am

  46. Uniok says:

    Whats the name of those cookies that are moulded with saintly figures? This would be a nice pasalubong.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 7:44 am

  47. jay calabig says:

    my vote will be the Otap from Ilo-ilo it is not really a cookie but it is the closest thing that can compete with cookies with the west. Uraro our version shortbread cookies is good as well, but what I truly crave and usually wolf down when I visit is sapin-sapin I can eat the whole flat by myself :)

    Feb 25, 2009 | 7:51 am

  48. Mimi says:

    i think polvoron can be classified as a non-baked cookie, as there is the baked polvoron which is very much a yummy cookie (the original bakery they say is found at the back of the baclayon church, bohol).

    i never thought of barquillos as a cookie because as a child we would eat it always with ice cream, so parang ice cream cone siya for me. but yes, barquillos is also a fave.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 7:57 am

  49. Dee says:

    Rach, yes the delicias from Charito’s is quite good. It is a product of Catbalogan Samar :)

    Feb 25, 2009 | 7:58 am

  50. Lea says:

    millet, the square flaky cookies you were referring to are called JACOBINA. my husband, who is from Indang, Cavite says that these originated from Batangas but made popular in Mendez, Cavite. Hope you can fall asleep now :)

    Feb 25, 2009 | 8:00 am

  51. Tiffany says:

    otap at piaya

    Feb 25, 2009 | 8:18 am

  52. Fabian M says:

    Cookies from Childhood:

    1. Those Peanut Butter Filled mass produced cookies (Peanut butter cookie sandwich?) I think this is a Presto brand, and come in a green wrapper.

    2. Alfajor (from Mountain Maid). Gooey and Sugar duster. Ahhh.

    3. Palmeras (Dulcinea style)

    4. Chocolate Chip Cookie.

    Everything comes from somewhere else. Maybe CCC can now be considered “local”. It’s the cookie we’ve baked the most at home as well.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 8:21 am

  53. PanchoA says:

    Frankly, I really don’t care if we don’t nationalize a cookie, the way we wish to superimpose a regional culture over others by “nationalizing” them the way Tagalog was superimposed over the rest of the country.

    But if I had to remember the country from afar, I would long for Lenguas de Gato, which, by the way is an adaptation from the French Langues de Chat (literal translation).

    I’ve tried a lot of these, and for some strange reason, the ones I’ve devoured in Cebu and in some parts of Manila were much more savory than those I’ve had elsewhere, which were bordering on the bland or just plain.

    The French methodology, including the new innovation of using silpats to make them still is still the superior way. However, as to formulation, I am inclined to be biased to our affinity for richer ingredient contents.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 8:27 am

  54. TETH says:

    Oh yeah, i like jacobina too and galletas for merienda!

    Feb 25, 2009 | 8:37 am

  55. ECC says:

    Uniok, those cookies with saintly figures are called “San Nicolas”.

    Real Filipino cookies would include: uraro, puto seco, gulgoria, and pilipit,

    Feb 25, 2009 | 8:42 am

  56. AleXena says:

    If we should Nationalize one cookie then the choices for me are:

    1. Jacobina
    2. Uraro/Puto Seko
    3. The “San Nicholas” cookies although I haven’t eaten one but it has some sort of history.=)

    Anything made of rice flour seems to have a more significant tie with our culture, cookies made from it must be consider. I do agree that we are not a baker’s nation though because not everyone has an oven in the house, so this would be a tough task.

    I remembered another biskwit I had as a child, which name escapes me right now. It’s round and flaky and we use to dip it in coke or pepsi before eating it. The elders would dip theirs in coffee. You usually buy them per pack in sari-sari store.

    I hope someone can help me out with this=) It might aslo be included hehehe!

    Feb 25, 2009 | 9:04 am

  57. Marketman says:

    PanchoA, if anything, this little post has just confirmed the view that we do have such a wide variety of regional specialties, and it is often location specific, and that as a nation, our food is far from being “nationalistic” in its all-encompassing form. There isn’t one cookie. And many of the cookies here are clearly adopted from other cultures. And many of them are what we would consider pasalubongs, not cookies we bake at home. This is so interesting to me. And so indicative of the waffling we have when faced with questions of national identity, from a food perspective. It’s the same reason we would have difficulty choosing one type of adobo, one sinigang, one pancit, etc. We do have diversity, but the down side is also a bit of confusion… And while everyone frets over the confusion, others name bizarre cookies “Filipinos”…. :) Please click on that link to my post on Filipinos, I just re-read it and was amused…

    Feb 25, 2009 | 9:17 am

  58. boknoyz says:

    puto seko!

    Feb 25, 2009 | 9:21 am

  59. B says:

    There are “indigenous” cookies (mostly Galleon-era stuff, I suppose), but the most common cookie in bakeries urban and rural are chocolate crinkles.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 9:30 am

  60. Mila says:

    You are right, MM, I can’t think of anyone who makes puto seko/uraro/pastillas de leche/polvoron/san nicolas at home just to hand out to kids on a middling day. We’re more likely to buy it, especially when travelling. Get a bag of regional specialties, share it with family and friends. Polvoron would be the easiest to make at home, I imagine, and doesn’t take more than a mold, plus refrigerator space for chilling. I do like a crumbly uraro with tea on certain days. And I’m really particular about the lenguas, they have to be buttery and extremely thin. But making them at home seems too daunting, while mixing chocolate chip cookie dough or even brownies is relatively mindless.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 9:55 am

  61. ted says:

    If i have to choose which pinoy specialty can be classified as a good cookie or national cookie, then that would be a “Marzipan or mazapan” made of Pili or Kasuy. I love this concoction and would pay to get a good recipe of this ;-)

    btw off topic muna, for pinoys living in the U.S.,,,you might want to get this added to your cellphone. This is google’s 411 whenever you want to find a number for any business establishment (resto’s, bar, any business under the sun) 1-800-goog-411. I’ve been using this to find asian resto’s anywhere im at.

    Check their demo at http://www.google.com/goog411/ it is soo cool!!!!

    Feb 25, 2009 | 10:27 am

  62. millet says:

    Lea, yes! Jacobina nga! thanks…yes, fell asleep last night waiting for the answer, but happy to see it here now. it’s now called different names everywhere.

    i used to make gollorias (gurgorya) all the time. too much work now.

    would mamon tostado qualify as cookies? after all, they’re just re-baked muffins or cake. in that case, i’d include iloilo’s biscocho (from biscocho haus) to this list.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 11:19 am

  63. mini says:

    Hi MM! rosquillos is common and famous, it could be a contender to the “search” for a national cookie :)

    Feb 25, 2009 | 11:23 am

  64. millet says:

    the list goes on….bacolod’s butterscotch.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 11:23 am

  65. sister says:

    You’ll never have a national anything Philippine, it all goes back to the fact of being 7,000 islands. Besides, the whole concept of “cookie” is western and every cookie mentioned is derived from something foreign.They have polvoron in Mexico, otap has an ancestor in France, palmier, broas are ladyfingers,even San Nicolas is descended from German cookies made in wooden molds.
    If you want to try to make pinipig cookies, use instead of oatmeal in the recipe of Quaker but toast the pinipig in a little veg. oil until it pops before using.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 11:30 am

  66. cwid says:


    Feb 25, 2009 | 11:42 am

  67. Marketman says:

    cwid, HAHAHA. I love that answer. But I would put that under “crackers” and not “biscuits” or biskwit… :) What about peanut kisses from Bohol?

    Feb 25, 2009 | 11:56 am

  68. Jel says:

    hi MM,

    have you heard of “cerafina/serafina”, its a kind of cookies (or bread??) close to pilipit here in tagalog, you can buy it in bacolod, my wife’s boss love “serefina’, great for coffee!

    Feb 25, 2009 | 12:28 pm

  69. ria says:

    I just love Marie! lol I can eat a whole pack

    Feb 25, 2009 | 12:55 pm

  70. Eileen Clement says:

    MM and Ria– I love rosquillos, broas and Marie, how about Lobo?
    And yes, Millet– gurgorya, by the way, would you happen to be the sister of Mae and Medel?

    Feb 25, 2009 | 1:03 pm

  71. PanchoA says:

    The Alavar bagoong that you enjoy so very much, MM, is made in Zamboanga, and sold in Cebu. For some reason, I don’t know why it’s not made available in Manila.

    The best sisig in the country is still best enjoyed by the rail tracks in Pampanga.

    The Napoleones and fresh lumpia of Bacolod are still “to die for”. And so are many other delicious dishes that make this country a “delicious” place to live in.

    Celebrate the differences. Maybe if we did that in all respects, we’d all get along better as a people instead of being the way we’ve all turned out to be as a nation.

    Now, about that “cookie”… how about celebrating a Sanz Rival? This French pastry is no longer available in France. Yet so many places here have their own wonderful versions of this decadent, and to an extent, “dangerous” dessert.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 1:14 pm

  72. Katrina says:

    While it’s true most of our local “cookies” are derived from abroad, one could say the same for much of our food. Especially since baked sweets like cookies use butter and wheat flour — not indigenous. I guess the length of time they’ve been around would be an indicator. I would call piaya (isn’t this unique?), barquillos, polvoron, pacencia (I like the one with the white top), biscocho, otap, broas, San Nicolas, uraro, pilipit, rosquillos, puto seko, and probably even lengua de gato Filipino. NOT so for crinkles and butterscotch — those weren’t even around yet when I was a kid! I think the first time I tasted crinkles was in grade school (made by a friend, they were not yet commercially available), and I don’t think I ever had the local version of butterscotch bars until I was in college.

    I agree with Mila about our local cookies being bought elsewhere, whether at the corner panaderia or as pasalubong, than made at home. They seem much harder to make than a regular Western cookie. And yeah, most Filipino households don’t have ovens. When I was in Bacolod recently, I went wild buying all sorts of local treats — I got cookies I remembered from childhood so that my nieces and nephew could try them, and also cookies I’d never seen in Manila. Who would’ve thought one could spend thousands on a bunch of local cookies?! Jel, I tried Bacolod’s serafina and loved it! Quite addictive, especially with coffee.

    MM, I don’t think we should try to come up with ONE national cookie. That might lead us down the infamously controversial Kulinarya path. Instead, maybe choosing 15-20 would be more realistic. If one bakery could produce all that, then become a chain (assuming they retain quality), wouldn’t that be good news for traditional Filipino cookies, especially those dying out? I agree with Ona — from my (admittedly limited) experience, the Phils. seems to have the most variety of sweets in Asia. Because of what a melting pot we are, we not only have numerous kinds of rice cakes, but many kinds of cookies as well. Why don’t we market those more?

    Feb 25, 2009 | 1:59 pm

  73. Marketman says:

    Katrina, I agree, it seems silly to think one cookie would be it. But posing the question and reading all these answers is telling in and of themselves. And I am not thinking of a cookie froma corner bakery, but rather one made at home. Something that seems as easy and natural as a batch of chocolate chip cookies… something that uses local ingredients and tastes good and you want to eat again and again… it may not exist… yet. :) As for Kulinarya, that is a topic that just doesn’t want to seem to fade away…

    Feb 25, 2009 | 2:13 pm

  74. millet says:

    yes, eileen clement, mae and medel are my siblings. please e-mail me at millety@yahoo.com

    very sorry for the personal, MM.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 2:31 pm

  75. millet says:

    of course, peanut kisses, and its delicious younger cousin, “peanut broas”. MM, you’ve opened a whole can of….er….cookies (?) with this post!

    Feb 25, 2009 | 2:33 pm

  76. Raneli says:

    Spot on MM. I’d like to think the peanut kisses from bohol could qualify as a cookie except maybe flattened a bit and baked a little larger in size. They are yummy,yes? I think most households in the Philippines in general don’t have ovens as some of you have described as a luxury item. I see a lot of fairly well off relatives having ovens in the kitchen but rarely used by the kusinera for some strange reason.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 2:56 pm

  77. chad says:

    Okay segway lang MM, na-brought up na naman yung cake-keyk definition. In translation, there reslly is no translation of the work cake in Tagalog. The word “keyk” is simply an attempt by olden scholars/semi purists to so-called “create/translate” the word “cake” using the Filipino alphabet.

    See, the cake itself, like the ideas of the computer and the laissez faire, arent really, solely and popularly, Pinoy in origin or introduced early in tradition, so we dont have a native word for that, and there wouldn’t be any instead of the word “cake” (because that’s the name we learned it as ex. Internet). On the other hand, we developed our own range of cooking grains and grain-starch- “puto”- mainly by steam. Now puto has an English equivalent- “rice cakes” or “steamed cakes”. why? Because westerners have steamed their doughs too you know. A more acceptable word equivalent for “cake”, although still a bit wee far, would be “kakanin” (etymology coming from kain, kakain, kanin (eat) and maybe also kanin (rice) and kakanin’s meaning as “small snacks/meals”). Remember that Pinoys used to refer it as kakanin “small meals” because Pinoys were field workers, they need heavy meals – almusal, tanghalian, minindal at hapunan. Or maybe the term “tinapay” would be better. Im guessing thats what the guys back then called it when they first tasted cake.

    Still, with the globalization, diaspora and the international mindset thing of today, nothing is more appropriate to call cake than cake. We won’t be starting to call saffron “sapron” or ourzo “orso” now would we?

    In terms of cookies (early Filipinos would call them tinapay still), the cookies we should raise would be the otap and the real arrowroot cookies. Uraro cookies I think, are lesser versions of the arrowroot cookie (notice the word corruption- arrowroot/uraro). Doesn’t mean they’re uraros not tasty ha. im just saying arrowroot cookies are a notch higher, and MM might like it.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 5:11 pm

  78. chad says:

    ms millet and Ranelli, yes, peanut kisses! im behind that one tooi Peanuts and eggwhites and sugar if I remember correctly. Reminds me of that part in sans rival and marjolaines. Nougat?

    Feb 25, 2009 | 5:15 pm

  79. Marketman says:

    chad, thanks for that comment, it invites deeper thought. But in my fairly serious looking English-Filipino dictionary, they do officially list “keyk” and more amusingly, “badigard” as legitimate Filipino words… :)

    Feb 25, 2009 | 5:29 pm

  80. cai says:


    Feb 25, 2009 | 5:31 pm

  81. kulasa says:

    San Nicolas
    Peanut Kisses

    Ang dami nga. It’s hard to qualify what a cookie really is. How about barquillos – rolled cookies? Polvoron – powdered cookies? Pweda na rin!

    Feb 25, 2009 | 8:45 pm

  82. anna.banana says:

    I love Pacencia! once you pop you can’t stop! haha

    Otap too

    and Pilipit from Ilocos

    Barquillos from Bacolod

    and those not strictly cookie thing from Baguio, those choco flakes!

    And yes, I’ve never ever tried baking any of those cookies. Hmmm, now why is that? Well, there’s never been enough exposure on these cookies anyway. They’re often considered as goodies one can find in a specific place, local delicacies that a certain town or place is know for.

    I don’t think I’ve seen anything in the media showing us how to make them..hmmm…:)

    Feb 26, 2009 | 12:49 am

  83. Gina says:

    This is a bit weird but in Cebu, bread is sometimes called “sopas” (or “pan”). Cookies are “biskwit”. When I moved to Manila I had to radically adjust to the notion of “sopas” as a milky kind of soup. To add to the confusion, I realized later on that the American biscuit is actually a kind of bread best eaten hot out of the oven slathered with jam and butter. And that it is a scone to the Brits. So now when I hear someone say “biskwit” or biscuit, I have to figure out if what is being referred to is the bread or the cookie.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 1:14 am

  84. Edik says:

    this should deserve another poll MM, don’t you think?

    Feb 26, 2009 | 1:53 am

  85. betty q. says:

    MM…I am in an experimenting mode today so all these comments about cookie led me to come up with this Lengua de gato thingy…having read your past post on it and all the comments up above, I think there is something missing…

    MarissewalangKaparis…to the kitchen por favor! Try this…

    1/2 pound butter, use the best you can find. Here I used the President’s Choice fresh churned butter
    1 1/4 cup sifted icing sugar
    1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
    2 whole eggs
    4 large eggwhites
    1 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
    1/4 cup cornstarch

    Initially, i used granulated sugar. The cookies were THIN and BUTTERY but too crunchy for me. If you like crunchy, then use the granulated sugar…only 1cup though. But I like the melt in your mouth quality that is THIN, BUTTERY and CRISP! I think I’ve got it!!!!!Oh, I used the plain tip with a diamter of about 1 to 1.5 cm. and piped the cookie on parchment lined cookie sheet to about 3 to 4 inches long. It spread to about 1.5 inches wide.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 5:37 am

  86. SariS says:

    How about Sylvanas? Not really a cake but is about the size of a cookie and yummy! Also I’ve heard that in the 40s in Manila there used to be pinipig cookies. Not quite sure how they were made but in my mind I’m picturing oatmeal cookies using pinipig since there was still a strong American presence.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 9:33 am

  87. mayums says:

    barquillos for me. :) although i don’t think cookies are really “native” to the philippines. all these cookies mentioned, i just simply think as bread.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 11:33 am

  88. Maria Clara says:

    BettyQ: Greatly appreciate you in sharing your lengua de gato recipe and tips. Do you keep the whole thing in a bowl and just mix it? Before piping the batter, do you keep it in the refrigerator or after mixing your batter, it goes directly into the piping bag? What is your oven temperature for baking them? Thanks a million again.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 1:33 am

  89. betty q. says:

    MC…Though the butter was at room temp, it was snowing yesterday when I made it…so the kitchen was a bit cool. The batter held up even wwithout refrigeration. Method used..creaming the butter and sugar. But as soon as I added the flour and the cornstarch, I only mixed it in briefly.

    I dumped the batter in the pipng bag with a 1 cm. tip or could be 1.25 or 1.5 cm. (sorry …don’t have a ruler around!). But just let it flow as you are pipng it. I squeezed it initially like sort of mounding it as I piped it. I didn’t like the finished product. I was after thin and crisp. Do I just let it flow as it came out of the tip having the same diameter as the tip. Whoa, it spread like to about 1.5 to 2 inches only which is what I REALLY WANTED!!! and really thin and buttery! Oven temp. 325 and I placed the parchment lined cookie sheet on the upper third on the oven. I have 5 slots for the racks in our oven.

    I meant what I said in the pan de sal comment. If and when you are ready to open ?’s Bakeshop…I am volunteering to help you get it going and formulate your SIGNATURE baked goodies!!!

    Feb 27, 2009 | 2:12 am

  90. Maria Clara says:

    BettyQ: Thanks so much for your quick response to my endless inquiries. To have a Bakeshop of my own is my long cherished childhood dream that I believe I cannot fulfill in my life. I failed on this endeavor. With my bilateral bad knees and right shoulder problems I have, I need to do more sedentary work before arhtritis eats me up. I really appreciate your willingness to support me and thanks a million again.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 2:23 am

  91. VIRG says:

    How about “minatamis” for cookies? If it’s not sweet, they have to go to the cracker/biscuit/galletas category. Is Hopia considered a cookie? Is Rosquillos (with the hole in the middle) a pinoy invention? THen that would be it for me.

    Feb 28, 2009 | 4:37 am

  92. Mina says:

    what about the cookies from Pampanga -SAN NICOLAS COOKIES. original and very traditional. why not that as our national cookie.

    Mar 1, 2009 | 4:09 am

  93. nilo says:

    sylvanas,sylvanas and sylvanas

    Mar 1, 2009 | 6:02 am

  94. Hoz says:

    Rosquillos for me. And they must be fresh from Titays in Liloan. After they make the trip to the US they don’t taste so good anymore.

    Barquillos come in second.

    Otap third.

    Mar 1, 2009 | 8:23 am

  95. Em Dy says:

    Rosquillos too for me!

    Mar 1, 2009 | 2:03 pm

  96. chris says:

    rosquillos of titay’s… pilipit, pacencia w/ white top, uraro, linga cookies

    Mar 1, 2009 | 8:31 pm

  97. chris says:

    i agree with katrina. it would be difficult to bring down to one a national cookie. diiferent regions and provinces have their own “national cookie” which may be difficult to find or duplicate elsewhere.likewise, they may have different interpretations or versions of a kind of cookie. uraro, for example, is different from the laguna/batangas version from quezon and from bataan. but all of them have basically the same mouthfeel and slightly identical taste.

    Mar 1, 2009 | 8:44 pm

  98. kongwi says:

    sampaguita (aka uraro or arrowroot) cookies, otap, piyaya…

    Mar 2, 2009 | 6:27 am

  99. kongwi says:

    you can buy good old-recipe and traditional cookies from butchie’s of la moderna in greenhills (who also sometimes sell at the salcedo market) such as gorgorias, dulce prenda, sampaguita, lengua de gato, masa podrida, sanikulas…

    Mar 2, 2009 | 6:34 am

  100. cien says:

    1. Broas
    2. Puto Seko
    3. Otap

    Mar 2, 2009 | 3:20 pm

  101. fe says:

    I will come up with a Niyog cookies that everybody will love. Check it invading here and abroad. By the way, those who love uraro cookies, we are pioneer in that in Quezon Province. It is pugon baked and is made of premium ingredients (not like the ones available in the market that are made of not so good tasting margarine). We can come up with a special one that is made of real butter (not butter substitutes). You may order in loose packaging (i mean not in jar or small plastics)so you’ll have freedom in packing it to your taste.

    May 28, 2009 | 12:36 pm

  102. salvhaje says:

    where i can buy uraro cookies here in philppines??thank you

    Sep 21, 2010 | 7:39 pm


Market Manila Home · Topics · Archives · About · Contact · Links · RSS Feed

site design by pixelpush

Market Manila © 2004 - 2021