Pinipig are flattened and toasted glutinous rice grains, the Southeast Asian equivalent of Kellogg’s corn flakes. Its name probably derives from the root word piga, which is Tagalog for squeeze.
The rice grains for pinipig are harvested while still young and green. Admittedly, I have never seen fresh green pinipig, not even in the Philippines, because it quickly loses color once pounded.
To capture that fresh look, some exporters add a weird hue of neon green coloring. Go for the au naturale variety, even if it is a tad less eye-catching. Wouldn’t you rather keep the food equivalent of silicone implants out of anything you eat?
Toasting reawakens its raw rice fragrance, if only for a short time, so add the pinipig to the cookie dough as soon as they cool down. The shards of sweet rice retain crispness well.
Pinipig (Young Glutinous Rice Flake) Cookies
makes about 2 dozen cookies
|pinipig (young sweet rice flakes)||3/4 cup||2||57|
|all-purpose flour||1/2 cup||2.3||64|
|baking powder||1/2 tsp|
|unsalted butter, at room temperature||1/4 cup||2||57|
|granulated sugar||1/3 cup||2.4||67|
|lemon zest||1/4 tsp|
- Pinipig is also sold as cốm, its Vietnamese name. Try your luck at groceries that focus on Southeast Asian products.
Toast the pinipig. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Add the pinipig and toast while stirring often for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Spread out the pinipig over a plate and allow to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF / 175ºC with racks on the upper third and lower third of the oven. Prepare 2 parchment-lined or lightly greased half-sheet pans or cookie sheets.
Mix the dry ingredients. Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in a container with a tight lid. Cover and shake until thoroughly mixed.
Mix (Creaming Method). Beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and continue beating to incorporation. Beat in the lemon zest.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and continue mixing just until smooth and thoroughly incorporated. Gently fold in the cooled pinipig.
Drop. The cookie dough will be very sticky, so use two teaspoons or a small disher. Drop 12 evenly spaced portions for each sheet pan or cookie sheet. Each cookie dough portion is roughly equivalent to 1 heaping teaspoon, about the size of a cherry.
Bake the cookies at 350ºF / 175ºC for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Let the baked cookies rest on the sheets for a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
The scent of rice paddy fields in cookies.