Cookie butter. The name alone sounds delicious, doesn’t it? Around the holidays I picked up a jar at Trader Joe’s with the intent of incorporating it into my Christmas baking. Per usual, I was so busy with the other things I needed to do to make the holidays happen that I only had time for my standard holiday baked goods. No time for experimenting or introducing new recipes into the mix. Next year!
That jar of cookie butter sat on my pantry shelf for a good six weeks until I finally pulled it down and decided to bake with it. I surmised from the label that is was essentially Trader Joe’s version of Speculoos paste or Biscoff Spread. Speculoos is a shortcrust biscuit commonly made in the Netherlands, Belgium and Northern France. It is reminiscent of a Christmas cookie because of the spices used, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom and white pepper. About five years ago a Belgian woman brilliantly created a creamy spread with the unique taste of a speculoos cookie. Lotus Bakeries bought the recipe and started making Biscoff Spread which is a common alternative to peanut butter in Europe and now found in the U.S.
Back to the baking part. I perused my usual baking blogs for recipes using Biscoff Spread which I remembered seeing a few months earlier. I found one and decided to try it for a shower I was co-hosting that weekend. It is essentially an oatmeal cookie recipe with the addition of cookie butter which is added to the butter during the creaming stage. The combination of the oats and the burst of spices from the cookie butter is a nice combination. Buttery, crispy yet chewy from the oats, these cookies are pretty darn tasty.
As I was cleaning up the kitchen and putting away ingredients I realized I hadn’t tasted the cookie butter yet. I tasted a cookie from the first batch and it was good but my feeling was that the cookie butter needed to be tasted on its own. Oh how I wish I had fought that initial urge and went about my day. But no, I grabbed a teaspoon and dug into the creamy, cookie butter. To say that this stuff is good doesn’t quite do it justice. It is a spoonful of comfort, a smooth and delicious butter peppered with the perfect amount of spice. I could have taken down that entire jar on one sitting but I exercised restraint and screwed the lid back on the jar. After tasting this unique and delicious butter I bought five jars on my next trip to Trader Joe’s, for baking purposes of course. I was fearful that they would run out, or worse yet discontinue it. A life without cookie butter was a life I didn’t want to live. Hence, the jars & jars that line a shelf in my pantry.
Fast forward to last week when I was snack mom at my daughter’s co-op nursery school. I usually look forward to this duty but this last one snuck up on me. I had no time to bake fabulous non-dairy, no-nut muffins (many kids have food allergies) and even less time to grocery shop for fun and healthy snacks. I scanned my pantry and refrigerator and was able to cobble together a nice enough snack. When you are snack mom you are also responsible for bringing snacks for the parent break room and you don’t have to abide by the dietary restrictions you do when feeding the kids. If the kids only knew that we snacked on cheeses, crackers, candy and quick breads (sometimes with chocolate) they would be majorly bummed.
I ended up serving whole grain toast with my homemade jam plus cut up fruit for both the kids & parents. As I was packing up the car that morning I noticed my cookie butter stash and threw a jar into my bag. I thought to myself, “The moms are going to love this stuff.” I scooped out the cookie butter into a little serving dish and set it next to the jam and toast in the break room.
Immediately after the first wave of moms hit the break room one mom raced to the kids snack room, with the empty cookie butter dish, and said, “What is this stuff?” I laughed and handed her the jar which she whisked away to the break room to be devoured by the other moms. Even though I didn’t bake anything special for snack that day I came away with a hit because of that delicious cookie butter.
My friend, Hannah, fellow co-op mom and cooking/baking enthusiast, has been asking me all week for the cookie butter cookie recipe. She too became a cookie butter fan last week and has been patiently waiting for my recipe. Here you go, Hannah!
Cookie Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Two Peas and their Pod
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons of flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup cookie butter (or Biscoff Spread)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Coarse sea salt (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter, cookie butter, sugar, and brown sugar and beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extra and beat until smooth.
4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, beating only until blended. Chill the dough 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
5. Form the cookie dough into rounded tablespoons and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Dust with coarse sea salt, if using. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are golden and just firm around the edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then remove with a spatula onto a cooling rack.
*These cookies freeze very well. I suggest making a double batch and freezing some for later.