Pinipig & Hazelnut Balls a la Marketman


I was wracking my brains last night trying to think of a way to use the pinipig (puffed rice) bounty that was sent over by friends (see previous post)… Making homemade “pinipig crunch” ice cream bars seemed a bit involved (do you remember that childhood favorite that used to crack and crumble as soon as you bit into the chocolate crust and the vanilla ice cream inevitably started dripping down your arm?!!) so I scoured some Filipino cookbooks and came across a recipe for a sweet pinipig dessert named… what else… “pinipig crunch”!!! The recipe, in the Philippine Cookbook edited by de Guzman and Puyat actually gave me a rough idea of what to attempt but I altered the recipe quite a bit to get to the “pinipig balls” I have in the photographs here. They are stunningly good. Forgive my ignorance as perhaps most of you have tried this before, but I haven’t, and I was really surprised by how good they turned out to be…

To make, start with 5 cups of puffed or already fried pinipig. Put them in a large stainless steel or glass bowl. I added 2-2.5 cups of chopped filberts or hazelnuts that I pini2happened to have in stock in the freezer, toasted lightly before chopping. You can also use other nuts such as cashews or almonds but I suspect part of my unexpected hit was the hazelnut flavor. Add two pinches of fine salt and mix this all gently to distribute the nuts and pinipig. Add 1/3 cup good butter that is extremely soft and mix the ingredients gently. Don’t worry if some clumps form. Meanwhile, melt 2 cups of sugar and ½ water on medium heat WITHOUT stirring until it starts to brown at which point you can stir it gently until it reaches about 260-270 F if you have a candy thermometer, or it is a light caramel color. The original recipe refers to this as the hard ball stage but I found their method to be poorly described if not misleading. Carefully pour the sugar into the bowl with pinipig and mix quickly, coating the rice and nuts. Then QUICKLY form the pinipig and nut mixture into balls, I found using parchment or baking paper helped to smush the rice into nice ping pong sized balls and place on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper to cool. You could have others help you because the mixture will harden quickly. Three of us made 36 pinipig balls in less than 6 minutes. After cooling, these crisp, chewy, sweet, nutty concoction were an instant hit! Absolutely delicious! So much better than more frequently seen ampao or other squarish versions…


13 Responses

  1. hey marketman!

    the pinoy version of rice krispie treats. awesome!

    speaking of american classics,
    have you tried the new Butterfinger Crisp?

    it’s the Butterfinger version of the KitKat chocolate wafer bar. definitely addicting, ’cause it isn’t as cloyingly sweet as the original bar.

    Available at your friendly neighborhood convenience store!!

  2. Hey marketman,

    Its lovely to see the pinipig from the earlier post turning into beautiful pinipig crunch. your blog is a joy to read and browse.

  3. have you tried dipping them in melted chocolate…i remember i once tried dipping rice krispies in chocolate and it added a new layer of flavor…

  4. When we wuz kids, we used to add them “pinipig” in our halo-halo drinks … ‘gives it that added crunch and flavor to the melted mix of crushed ice, milk, and juice from all of that sweet concoctions.


  5. spanx, no I have not yet tried Butterfinger Crisp…will keep an eye out for it. Chicky, glad you are enjoying the site…I usually have things lined up for posting but many times my “schedule” is shot when I get pinipig then I make something out of it! kongwi, melted chocolate would make this close to that original Magnolia pinipig crunch…just add vanilla ice cream and hmmm! eSubijano, yes pinipig in halo halo is great, also with buko pandan dessert as well!

  6. If i try this with muscovado, do you think it’ll be too dark to be appetizing? Was just thinking it might taste better over refined sugar.

    Would anyone know where to get fresh pinipig? The moist, chewy, just a hint of sweetness, pale green stuff that could be eaten by itself. sigh…haven’t tasted that in ages.

  7. Mon C, I have an earlier post on pinipig at which can be purchsed in large wet markets such as the FTI taguig market on Saturdays. However, note that you should read through the comments as the light green one I have in my post is actually an imposter on the TRUE pinipig or even better, highly sought after duman that Karen over at Pilgrim’s Pots and Pans so loves… as to to muscovado, go ahead and try it but it might be a bit heavy… the taste of the browned refined sugar isn’t bad…experiment is what I say!

  8. Thanks for the tip! I was warned by some Binan pinipig traders that some people sprinkle pandan-tainted, food colored water over dried pinipig and pass it off as the real stuff. Yes, it’s the duman I’m forever on the lookout for! In case anyone does,pls…

  9. my lola always served native chocolate ah (aguado, the thinned version) ordered from bulacan with ground peanuts, with toasted pinipig on the side. We’d all grab a handful of pinipig and top our steaming hot chocolate with the “crunch”. ahh, i wish it was christmas again..

  10. I remember liking green pinipig when I was younger but I don’t remember how I had them. They were cooked just like rice so they were soft and not crunchy. I just remember eating them as is in our ‘dirty kitchen’, maybe they were on their way to becoming something else when they were intercepted by me. heheh

  11. I am from southern Mindanao and am happy that you posted information on pinipig. Am interested on pinipig ampao delicacy. If you could give me a recipe on this, i would be very grateful. I have noted that there are processors on this in Nagcarlan, Laguna. Thanks and God bless.

  12. Dear Marketman,i’ve know you in the yummy magasine,im having trouble about pinipig .You see,I’ve brouht them because it’s cheap,Forgive me but in the end i realize i have nothing to do with it.I’ve search my new and old cookbooks but im not lucky to find one.I just ended up in your arms.And if you could give me More pinppig recipe i will be much delighted.Thank you marketman,you are my guardian angel when it cames to hard to find recipes that young generation might forgot…God Blees…



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