This week’s obsession: Cookie Butter
I want to start off by saying that I was not sponsored by Biscoff Cookie Butter™ for this post, but boy wouldn’t life be grand if I was? How does that even work, food sponsorships? Do I get a lifetime supply of the product just for writing about it? I'd love that! Can I get a Popeye’s Biscuits™ sponsorship while I’m at it? (Ok, ok, Popeye’s Chicken™ too. And Popeye's Red Beans and Rice™ of course.) Pardon me for a moment while I get lost in an elaborate and extremely specific daydream of being sponsored by delicious food suppliers for life without ever gaining weight or getting gout...
(25 minutes later) Ok, I’m back! For those of you that I lost in that very first sentence, I’m going to back up and explain what the spectacular unicorn angel gift from the gods deliciousness is that I’m obsessing over right now. If you’ve ever enjoyed the food and beverage service aboard one of the U.S.’s more prominent airlines (I feel like I’ve brand name dropped enough for today, but you know who I’m talking about. [It's Delta.]), you’ve most likely encountered the Biscoff cookie (working on that corporate sponsorship with that link right there, y'all! 😉). It is a European spice cookie that makes its appearance over there during the winter/holiday season, and is available year round next to just about every cup of coffee served in Belgian cafes. These cookies are called speculoos, but when the marketing manager wanted to bring this product to the US, it was assumed that Americans would have a hard time pronouncing it (we do), so it was renamed. Since it’s a cookie - biscuit, if you’re European - that pairs extremely well with coffee, it was renamed Biscoff. (I'm eye-rolling myself into another dimension over that name. My mother always reminds me not to judge "because ya can't help what your mama named ya", but really. This is a dumbass name.)
Anywho, cookie butter came about in 2009 when a reality TV show contestant suggested making the cookies into a spreadable consistency since it was common practice in Belgium to eat a sandwich made of crushed speculoos cookies sprinkled between buttered slices of bread. She reasoned that a spreadable version of this cookie would be much more practical for sandwich consumption. And all I have to say about her is that not all heroes wear capes.
Fast forward to current times where cookie butter is now a staple in pastry pantries across the US, and particularly in mine. I have been trying to work cookie butter into sweets and treats recipes whenever I can ever since I’ve discovered it. First up are these delicious cookie butter twists that I made for Thanksgiving last year. These couldn’t have been easier! I rolled out some puff pastry, spread on the cookie butter in copious amounts, brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, twisted, and baked. Once they came out of the oven I drizzled them with a cinnamon icing and then promptly shoved every single one of them into my face. (I had no guests for Thanksgiving last year, so I was perfectly at liberty to do so!)
My other favorite use of cookie butter was when I made a cookie butter filled king cake.
(Keep an eye out around Jan. 6 of next year because I’ll be sure to explain the lovely traditions surrounding king cakes, but for now just know that they cakes that are very similar to a giant cinnamon roll, or sweet bread that’s filled with cinnamon and topped with purple, green, and gold dyed sugar. New Orleans style king cakes started with just cinnamon filling, but by the time I was a kid they came with a few flavor options like lemon, cream cheese, or praline filling. Now, chefs are going wild with filling options and doing things like apple & goat cheese, peanut butter & chocolate, and even boudin! [That ingredient is an explanation for another day though. I’m already far enough down this rabbit hole.])
I typically favor the traditional cinnamon filling for king cakes, but this time I decided to go wild and give cookie butter a whirl. I had zero regrets. Not even one. Just look at this beauty! I love everything about it, so of course I can forgive it for not being a typical cinnamon king cake filling. #COOKIEBUTTER
But this weekend I served what I think has become my new favorite way to eat cookie butter - Biscoff buttercream. Holy moley is this stuff delicious!! I made my usual American buttercream and folded almost an entire jar of Biscoff cookie spread into it. It took all of my willpower not to take a spoon and… well, you know where I’m going with this. Just believe me that it was hard not to do it. While I was restraining myself from eating all the goodies, I made my classic vanilla cake recipe, sliced each layer in half, and smoothed my fresh made Biscoff buttercream in between each layer to give it some height (seriously, it was a significant struggle not to eat this stuff while I was making the cake. I was like Edward Cullen when he first smelled Bella Swan in the book 1. #TheStruggleIsReal).
Once it firmed up in my fridge, I somehow found the resolve to smear the rest on the outside of the cake. WITHOUT eating it, I might add. Without eating ALL of it would be more accurate. But you get it. I restrained myself like a vegetarian vampire, and gosh darn it I was proud! (Omg, is that GIF perfect or what!?!)
I’m also proud of myself because I somehow had the forethought to set aside a bit of regular buttercream in order to create a small amount of color contrast when I frosted the fault line (not that you can really tell from the photos, but hey, it looked cool in real life!), and after placing broken pieces of Biscoff cookies along the center line of the perimeter, I covered the top and bottom with the plain buttercream and painted it with gold.
I got a little overzealous with the cookies on top though, and just crammed as many as I could onto the cake. I didn’t want to have any leftover cookies that I would inevitably binge eat and then feel bad about later. You know what they say, “A cookie a day keeps the sadness away, but a batch of cookies a day brings it back.” Or something like that. Whatever, I just didn’t want to have to eat all the rest of the cookies.
Oh, did I forget to mention that this was a birthday cake for my man candy? We celebrated by inviting some friends to eat pizza and cake by the pool for dinner. I’d say they did a fairly good job of ridding me of my temptations. Many mahalos for your help, friends! And happy birthday to my man candy! He likes to celebrate birth-months, so I feel like there's a potential for another birthday cake next week. Stay tuned to find out!
Happy eating, y'all!
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If you're viewing this blog on your mobile device, it seems that the GIF I embedded isn't showing up (if you're on a tablet or desktop it should be working just fine). I reported the issue to Wix, but since it's a weekend they won't get to it until Monday at the earliest. I posted the GIF link in the comments for your enjoyment.