I love cookie butter (it was really hard not to write that sentence without using two expletives so use your imagination, they go before “love” and after “cookie”). I like cookie butter the way creepy fans like pop-stars or addicts like their poison of choice. It’s not a healthy relationship, so I generally try to stay away from it. I can’t even have the stuff in the house. Leave me alone with a jar of cookie butter and I’ll go goblin mode, black out, then wake up 12 hours later in a jail cell.
To me, cookie butter is basically shelf-stable cookie dough. It’s made from pulverized spice cookies (called speculoos), sugar, flour, and fat. It’s also a relatively new food invention, with roots tracing back to 2002, that was first thrust into the spotlight during a Belgian reality show in 2008 called The Inventors. Belgium is responsible for the creation of speculoos, otherwise known as Biscoff cookies here in the States. These are the same spiced biscuits they serve on Delta flights and are made by the same Belgian company, Lotus. When Delta bought the cookies, they simply changed the cookie’s namesake. Delta immediately recognized the widespread appeal and greatness of speculoos. This magical mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and spiced clove creates a biscuit that is deliciously indulgent, lovely, and fragrant. And Belgians took the cookie to even greater heights when they started making butter out of it.
Belgium is a country known for many fascinating, world-changing inventions, from French fries to the Big Bang theory. And now, cookie butter. Incredible. Cookie butter is pretty mainstream now, and it’s got a variety of uses. I like to eat it by the spoonful, but it’s also delicious when spread on top of another cookie. Or, heck, do what they do in the Netherlands and spread it on bread. Make cookie butter ice cream sandwiches with it and put it on s’mores. You won’t be disappointed. Just, you know, try and practice some restraint.
If you’re cookie butter curious, check out these three on the market:
- Lotus Cookie Butter
This is the original cookie butter that started it all in the U.S. Lotus Biscoff cookie butter is sweetly spiced, sugary, and comes in a convenient spreadable paste form. It’s undeniably delicious, like eating spoonfuls of cookie batter from your mixing bowl with a spatula. Enhance your Biscoff cookies at home with a thin layer of cookie butter, or shoot, do what Belgians do and put it on some toast. This will enhance just about any dessert. Lotus Biscoff cookie butter is a gift from the gods.
- Roland Cookie Butter
This brand is imported directly from the Netherlands at a good price, so if you want to get cookie butter from near the source, try Roland. The back of the jar suggests a recipe for a cookie butter shake and just hearing those three words in succession caused me to bite my lower lip. Throwing a bit of cookie butter into a milkshake is a phenomenal idea. The ingredients aren’t that much different from any of the other cookie butters (it’s truly just three very cheap things: cookies, oil, and sugar), but it’s worth noting that it comes from the region of origin.
- Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter
Of-freaking-course Trader Joe’s was fast to get their grubby little hands on a great food idea that originated in another country first. This is what they do. They’re practically foaming at the mouth waiting to assimilate whatever next haute food trend is monetizable, folding it seamlessly into their collection of culture-washed products. Is that harsh? Well, it doesn’t mean the products aren’t good. I just think we should be calling a spade a spade. TJ’s got in on the cookie butter game pretty early and it’s paid off. Again, it’s just speculoos, oil, and sugar, but it’s still pretty damn good. If you’re shopping at Trader Joe’s, I see the appeal of picking this up over Lotus.