Latest Stories

Kitchen Rescue

Meet the Bucky–a choco bar, cookie dough, ‘tablea,’ brownie, crinkle and cupcake all rolled into one


BIG POPPA Bucky with bourbon, cream cheese and bacon

What’s a Bucky?

“A ‘Bucky’ is a hybrid. The best way I can try to describe it is if fudge, flourless chocolate cake and a brownie had a baby, that’s what a Bucky is,” said Miguel Vargas, the master baker of the chocolate treat.

I was gifted with a box by Jecelle and Brian Tycangco, big fans of the Bucky. I, too, was thoroughly impressed. It’s a meticulously prepared product, packaged in a brown corrugated box with a green cord and a label indicating the date it was baked, the flavor and the batch number.

Miguel gives credit to his wife Raisa for the packaging, the look, the design.

“The only creative thing I contributed was drawing the logo on a piece of paper,” he says.

“She’s the one that pushed me and has been my constant source of support. I really couldn’t do it without her. We really make a fantastic team.”

Inside the box was a menu of all the variants and a pretty wooden spoon. Under the logo stamped wrapper was the Original Bucky—two gold bar-like chunks of chocolate topped with coarse sea salt. Dark, dense, chocolate-y, tempting!

I quickly cut myself some and, indeed, it was a chocolate bar, a classic chocolate cake, a flourless chocolate cake, cookie dough, tablea, a brownie, a crinkle and a cupcake all rolled into one.

It is not sweet, has a nice chewy texture and an addicting bite and mouth feel. It’s satisfying though not overly; a notch short of being sinful, which is why you keep going for it. It’s perfectly bitin, in a good way of course, the kind that makes you want more. It took half a bar for me to come to this conclusion!



The Original Bucky is a dark and rich chocolate flavor enhanced by sea salt. This is what started it all. Miguel had the recipe “in my back pocket since I was kid. A trip to a family friend’s house introduced me to the awesome pairing of salt and chocolate.”

Spiced is “an intense deep darkness followed by notes of cinnamon and ended by some heat. This was inspired by mom’s favorite cookies; a South American recipe supposedly as ancient as the Mayans. It’s cinnamon, cayenne and some other stuff. One of the more acquired tastes but definitely a must-try.”

Chunky Blonde is “a mixture of oatmeal and graham as the base, with chunks of cocoa liquor. Inspired by cookies my cousin Maiki Abello used to always make, and I’d crave for so badly. It has turned into my personal favorite.”

Buckies n’ Cream is “the original recipe with a vanilla cream. Some people have described it as an Oreo on steroids. This is my daughter Adriana’s absolute favorite.”

Super is something “I came up with for this country fair my cousin, Hindy (Tantoco), hosts a couple of times a year in Sta. Elena, called Balik Bukid. Inspired by her and what she’s been trying to push for, I decided to come up with a version that would be apt. It’s made with coconut sugar, gluten-free flour and chia seeds.”

Big Poppa was concocted for Father’s day. “I just thought of my favorite ‘manly’ flavors. It started with just being infused with bourbon, but quickly evolved into having a cream cheese filling and lots of bacon.”

Day job

Vargas has a day job working for a food ingredients company. While he is not professionally schooled, he has been a fixture in the kitchen, baking since he was a kid.

The Bucky came to be “because I wanted to give gifts last Christmas and not spend so much. I busted out the recipe and dusted it off, going through trial and error until it became what it is now.”

“My mom (Cedie Vargas) loved it so much that she gave them as gifts,” he adds. “Since we had to do costing and spend for packaging anyway, we decided to make a go of it.”

“Bucky is a nickname my cousin Bea (Tantoco) had for me when were around 10 years old. It was a time before I got headgear and braces,” says Vargas.

Best way to eat it

“Personally I love it cold, straight out of the refrigerator. But people have different ways of enjoying it. Some take a huge chunk, pop it in the microwave then serve it à la mode. Some cut it up and put some cookie butter. Some just like it straight out of the box.”

For orders call Miguel, 0917-8445104, 2169552.

Note: I will be cooking with many of my colleagues in the coming weeks. For my cooking class schedules, information or reservations, call 0917-5543700, 0908-2372346, 4008496, 9289296.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: baking , Bucky , Food , Lifestyle , sweets

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  3. This is not just a farm
  4. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  5. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  6. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. The truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, eggs benedict, chicken leg confit are excellent
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  6. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  7. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • Anti-gay demo in Ethiopia cancelled
  • Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US
  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Gunmen attack Iraq military base, kill 10 soldiers
  • Sports

  • Vietnam says it will not host Asian Games
  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Lifestyle

  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Entertainment

  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Business

  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • DFA: 2 Filipinos survive Korean ferry disaster
  • PH asks airline passengers to check for MERS
  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan