Let me guess, your first question is what is speculoos? It’s a Dutch shortbread biscuit, with similar seasonings to gingerbread. Then, some mad genius somewhere created speculoos cookie butter, a smooth, spreadable paste, with a texture similar to peanut butter. Thanks to Trader Joe’s, Americans now have access to speculoos cookie butter.
It’s brilliant. I want to spread it on toast, on pancakes, or blend it in to a milkshake. Most of all, I want to eat it by the spoonful, straight out of the jar. I saw this post on Butter me up, Brooklyn and I couldn’t resist trying it out.
The recipe is easy and I thought it was addictively good – I found myself reaching for a fourth bar, before 10am. My only complaint is that the frosting is tooth-achingly sweet. Maybe there needs to be some dark chocolate incorporated in for balance, or at least a sprinkle of sea salt on top?
Frosted Speculoos Cookie Butter Bars
Makes about 25 small squares
For the sprinkle:
1 tablespoon (12 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) cinnamon
For the cookie bars:
1 1/4 cup (156 grams) flour
1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) cinnamon
4 tablespoons (56 grams or half a stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup (110 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (115 grams) brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
1/2 cup (133 grams) speculoos cookie butter*
For the frosting:
2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter, very soft
generous 1/3 cup (about 90 grams) speculoos cookie butter*
2 cups (250 grams) powdered sugar
5 tablespoons (74 ml) half and half or heavy cream, plus more as needed
Make the cookie bars: Preheat the oven to 375. Butter an 8 x 8 pan then line with two sheets of overlapping parchment. In a small bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the sprinkle. Set both aside. In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together.
In another medium bowl mix the melted butter with the sugars until combined. Add vanilla and both eggs and mix well until incorporated. Add the cookie butter and stir until smooth and fully combined. Add the flour mixture to the cookie butter mixture and stir to combine. Spread into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula.
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the bars and gently tap the pan back and forth so that the sprinkle is evenly spread across the top of the cookies. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a rack until fully cooled.**
Make the frosting: In a medium bowl beat together the butter, cookie butter and powdered sugar until well combined, then slowly stream the half and half into the powdered sugar mixture. Increase the speed of the mixer and beat the frosting for least 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add a bit more half and half as needed to achieve a spreadable consistency. Generously spread the frosting over the cooled bars. Slice and serve.
*Speculoos cookie butter is sold at Trader Joe’s and a similar product is sold as Biscoff Spread. If you are unable to find either then this would be a fabulous recipe to audition with your favorite peanut butter – knowing the taste will be quite different – but no less delicious.
**I did not have to travel with my cookie bars, but if I did then I would have let the cookie bars cool completely before frosting them right in the pan and transporting. They won’t be as pretty if they are frosted, sliced and then packed away so I would wait until arrival at my destination, use the parchment sling to remove the bars, then slice n’ serve on the spot!