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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cookie Swap

I did it. I participated in the first Albany Eats cookie swap, and didn't break a sweat. Mind you going into it I was having some severe cookie anxiety- are they going to like my cookies and the like. I did numerous checks for authenticity (mom, dad, every Filipino I could find) and they assured me it tasted it correct.

The two cookies I made for the swap were Puto Seco and Camachile. Seco in Tagalog means dry, and puto are steamed cakes, usually (but not always) made with rice flour. So, puto seco means dry puto. It makes sense to me, doesn't make sense to M (I think it's because he isn't Filipino). Anyways, this cookie is dry, crumbly, and sure to disintegrate in your mouth.

Albany Jane was asking for the recipe, and here it is. No guarded secret, but my mom did help me find the right one. I did try another recipe that used flour and corn starch, but it didn't taste right. It's corn starch or nothing.

Puto Seco
Recipe found at Allrecipes - Click on the link to be redirected to the site


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
3 2/3 cups cornstarch
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking powder


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.

2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the cornstarch, cream of tartar and baking powder until well blended. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them 1 inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

As for the Camachiles, I've been eating these cookies since grade school. My friend's mom used to make these Saturday morning during our piano lessons, and when we were done, we'd munch on these until it was time to go home. I never knew the actual name of these cookies, I would just call them "Auntie B's finger cookies." I'm not sure why I called them finger cookies, it might be because I know she rolled them between her fingers. I know people tried to get the recipe from her, but she never gave it up. And twenty years later I finally found a recipe. Boo the secrecy! I just want cookies!

Apparently, the cookie got its name because it is shaped to look like the camachile fruit. I've never heard of it before, but from what I hear, it's edible. If you do make these, be warned that they are a little heavy. And unlike the puto seco, the camachile cookies will survive a dunk in cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Until you eat it, then... well... bye bye cookie.

Camachile Cookies
Recipe found on - click on the link to be redirected to the site


2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp powdered milk (for special camachlle)

How to make camachile:

1. Add sugar to butter and beat. Beat eggs in another bowl, add salt and vanilla. Mix together butter mixture and egg mixture. Continue beating until smooth.

2. Add baking soda and baking powder to sifted flour. Blend with egg-butter mixture. Knead on top of floured board.

3. Form into small balls (1 tbsp. full) and roll on floured board till ball flattens. Then, form into strip 3" - 4" long.

4. Lightly press 2 fingers on dough, turn other side and press 3 fingers. This would make your cookie look like a camachile fruit when baked.

5. Arrange on a greased baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven to 350 deg F. Bake for 16 minutes or until golden brown.


phairhead said...

thanks!!! Boyfriend couldn't stop raving about the puto seco cookies :D

Albany Jane said...


Dude, I am so going to make these - they were amazing! Note I said were... I think there may be like 4 left total. SO, so, so amazing.

And those camachiles - even without a drink, their crumbliness is just awesome. I may be a bit of a messy eater tho.

It was so awesome to finally meet you and M. We are gonna totally have to hang out in the coming weeks.

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