What Is Cookie Butter? Make a Better Version

Brooke Newberry
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Middle America is sick of being denied access to the secret society that is Trader Joe’s. Perimeter states hold the privatized grocery chain close to their hearts – and have decided to exploit the store’s accessibility to make some fast cookie cash off of interior America. The black market of TJ’s “Cookie Butter” has turned the middle states into junkies – into real, frantic, pulverized cookie addicts. The “2 limit per customer” sign hanging in some stores isn’t because distribution is running out of the stuff – it’s because the chain is trying to control the bootlegged spreads. Some jars sell for over $10 a piece. Doesn’t this just make us want it more?

So what is it? The spread’s full title: Speculoos Cookie Butter: A deliciously unusual spread reminiscent of gingerbread and made with crushed biscuits.

The word ‘unusual’ on a packaged food item doesn’t necessarily scream to customers, ‘I’m so delicious.” In fact, it does just the opposite. From a marketing standpoint, this word choice would probably make customers wary of the product. Apparently no one gives a crap however, because the stuff just flies off shelves.

“Speculoos” are thin, spiced, biscuit-like cookies that originated in the Netherlands. The spread is basically a pulverized mixture of crushed Speculoos cookies, some sugar, some spices, some oils, and some crazy preservatives:

57% speculoos (wheat flour, candy sugar, margarine [palm oil, canola oil, coconut oil, rapeseed oil, water, salt, emulsifier {vegetable mono-and diglycerides from fatty acids}, citric acid, lactic acid, color added {beta carotene}, butter flavor (non dairy), sugar, soy flour, sugar syrup, raising agent {sodium hydrogen carbonate}, cinnamon, nutmeg), palm oil, canola oil, sugar, emulsifier: rapeseed lecithin.

Trader Joe’s wasn’t the first brand to make hot commodity butter out of some cookies. Biscoff, a Belgian cookie brand, originally made a similar spread out of their cookies, appropriately named “Biscoff Spread.”  Well, we couldn’t resist and had to try making our own. Throwing some crushed cookies, oil, sugar and some spices into a blender or processor didn’t seem like too tedious of a task. And it wasn’t. And it is fantastic. Check out the recipe below, using Biscoff cookies.


DIY Cookie Butter

Tips on making cookie butter:  Here’s the thing: any cookie can be used as long as it’s a crisp variety. Except for Oreos – we know where your mind is wandering.  Don’t do Oreos – the cream filling will turn the spread into an unappealing mush (yes, some cookie mushes are actually more appealing than others). We recommend a crispy, gingery/spiced biscuit or shortbread cookies. We used Biscoff and would also recommend trying the mush in ginger snap, shortbread cookie, snickerdoodle or graham cracker form. We also added cashews to give the cookie base a creamy, slightly nutty balance.

This recipe also doesn’t include any additional sugar. Add 1 Tablespoon of powdered sugar if desired – we recommend adding the extra tablespoon if spreading the cookie butter on pancakes, toast, etc. If eating right out of the container, sans sugar is best.

  • 2 boxes Biscoff cookies (it’s an 8.8 ounce box)
  • 2/3 cup raw cashews
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or one real vanilla bean, scraped from the pod
  • pinch nutmeg
  •  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Grind the cookies into a fine meal using a food processor or high-powered blender. Add the cashews and pulverize until a smooth consistency. Add both oils and process until creamy, then add the vanilla, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Blend until combined, scraping the sides as needed. This could take up to 5 minutes, but stop whenever the desired consistency is reached (remember, there’s always the option of creamy or chunky.)

The spread will harden in the fridge and will remain soft at room temperature. This cookie butter does not require cold storage.

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