Impulse Buy: Speculoos Cookie Butter
Store: Trader Joe’s
Aisle: In-store display
Hello, ladies. Look at your peanut butter, now, back to Speculoos Cookie Butter, now — stop. Grab a spoon and get ready to taste the guiltiest pleasure of your life!
Trader Joe’s describes it as “a deliciously unusual spread reminiscent of gingerbread and made with crushed biscuits.” Have your taste buds been whipped into a frenzy yet? No? Then how about this – Food bloggers describe it as “spreadable cookies”, “Christmas in a jar” or my favorite (and most accurate), “crack butter.” Your curiosity must be kicking into high drive by now as you’re probably wondering as I did…what exactly is cookie butter?
Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter is essentially a knockoff of Biscoff Spread, only less expensive and sporting a cute label. Even though the main ingredient is Belgian Speculoos cookies, Cookie Butter is as smooth as butter (hence the name). It became an instant hit when it was introduced as a seasonal item during the holidays last year, selling out immediately. But have no fear — Cookie Butter is back at Trader Joe’s and is now available all year long!
I could try to explain the addictiveness of this spread, but the back of the jar says it best: “All you have to do is taste it to understand!”
**How to Eat Your Way Through a Jar of Speculoos Cookie Butter**
Straight off the spoon. Not only is this the best way to introduce yourself to Cookie Butter, it is the surest way of emptying the jar in a matter of minutes! I wouldn’t be surprised if cookie butter becomes the new ice cream when it comes to eating straight from a container for breakup therapy.
Recipe ingredient. Since it’s already made of cookies, you can’t go wrong by including Cookie Butter in dessert recipes. Try adding it to fudge, buttercream cupcakes, white chocolate rice krispies, truffles, or cheesecake. And if you’re really in a hurry to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings and don’t want to waste time baking, whip up some white chocolate chip cookie dough.
Peanut butter substitution. Cookie Butter and peanut butter have similar consistencies, so consider trying it in recipes where you’d normally use peanut or other nut butters for a tasty change of pace. Things like PB&J sushi rolls, cookie butter cups (move over, Reese’s!), this caramelized banana sandwich or these Thai chicken lettuce wraps would all adapt nicely with Cookie Butter.
Breakfast indulgence. For those mornings when you’re craving something sweet for breakfast, try adding some Cookie Butter to oatmeal or white chocolate banana smoothies. Or, you could really splurge with these pancakes, donuts or muffins. Fo’ shizzle a drizzle of it on these crepes would be outstanding!
Anywhere you see fit. Everyone seems to be going Cookie Butter-crazy lately, so there are a lot of creative recipes available for experimentation. Check out these won ton bites and corn dogs that were stuffed with Cookie Butter! I even tried getting creative by attempting to replicate TJ’s white chocolate ginger holiday Joe-Joe’s with my jar of Cookie Butter (photograph and recipe below). If you’re not feeling creative, it’s easy enough to just eat it along with popcorn, pretzel bites, or gelato (photograph above). And don’t forget to mix in some crumbled Trader Joe’s Bistro Biscuits (TJ’s version of Speculoos cookies) for some crunch!
Brynn Cahalan is a senior at UC Irvine by day and a cookie monster by night. She loves trying unique ingredients and incorporating them into familiar dishes. Read more…
White Chocolate-Covered Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies
Makes about 12 sandwich cookies
Adapted from Creative Culinary
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg with 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter
9 ounces white chocolate
Trader Joe’s Bistro Biscuits, crumbled
In a medium bowl, whisk together the first five ingredients. Set aside.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream 1 stick of butter with the sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and mix again.
Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the butter mixture on low speed until the dough is completely mixed. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.
Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly flour a large surface and roll out the dough to 1/4″ thickness. Cut as many cookies as you can using a cookie cutter (2 inches in diameter). Combine leftover dough into a ball, roll out again, and continue cutting more cookies.
Bake cookies on a greased cookie sheet for 10 minutes (start checking on them at 7 minutes – they burn easily). Cool cookies on a rack.
To prepare the filling, beat the remaining 1/2 stick of butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the Cookie Butter and beat until completely combined. Evenly divide the filling among pairs of the cookies to form sandwich cookies.
To prepare the white chocolate coating, microwave the white chocolate in 30 second intervals. Dip each sandwich cookie into the white chocolate and place on parchment paper. Sprinkle with Bistro Biscuit crumbles and allow chocolate to harden overnight.