Jennifer Green, co-founder and cookie maestro of Dough and Arrow, recalls her childhood with memories of ube cake, “It was always a staple for birthdays or parties,” said Green. Her business partner and pastry chef, Gigi Pascual, also grew up with this purple yam being a big part of her upbringing, “For my family, it was always ube ice cream, or, I remember halaya, an ube jam, being made.” Ube has mainly become popular due to it’s versatility. In recent months, it’s been used in everything from pasta to pancakes, while it’s main traditional form is in cake. The purple yam is not just your average Instagram foodie craze, but a culturally significant crop that signifies the resilience and celebration of heritage.
So what is ube exactly?
Often confused with taro or purple sweet potato, ube is a purple yam popular in the Philippines. It’s origins are rooted in Austronesian culture and was one of the earliest plants transported in the early Polynesian Migration of Southeast Asia. Although they have not been able to pinpoint its particular location of origin, historians have been using ube farming plots to track human movement patterns of early Asian tribes. As time progressed, ube lived on as a staple in many Southeast Asian homes.
In 2017, Green and Pascual opened their cookie and coffee shop, Dough and Arrow, in Costa Mesa. Today, patrons enter the vibrant building and the first thing they notice (outside of the giant cookie photo-op) is the smell of freshly-made delicious treats. The range of cookies on display are unique and aesthetically beautiful, each in their own right. One of the newest cookies to hit the display features rose and matcha, while classics include; lavender, chocolate, smores, crème brûlée and of course, ube.
“When we started our business we were also both new moms and wanted to take a back-to-basics approach,” said Green. Pascual continued, “We decided to make the classic cookies we grew up with, while also adding twists that were unique to our culture and heritage.” Their ube cookie in particular has a light and nutty flavor profile which is amplified by toasted coconut accents, assembling their fond love for this ingredient in a simple yet satisfying form. Dough and Arrow also makes cookie cream lattes, in which ube is featured as well, and is just as tasty as its pastry counterpart.
For those already thinking about their health or considering to count calories, Dough and Arrow also has food allergy options and uses as little sugar as possible, making it easy to feel a little less guilty indulging in their one of a kind creations.
Inspired by the wonderful cookies at Dough and Arrow, I put on my apron and got lost looking through Pinterest for recipes, only to discover this great recipe by Husbands that Cook. It highlights the purple yam, tying together a fresh take on classic techniques.
Dough and Arrow | 3033 Bristol St Q, Costa Mesa |Follow on Insta!