By Erika Mathieu
There are literally hundreds of iterations of cookies with various spreads as the foundation. Peanut butter, hazelnut, and almond butter spreads make for soft, chewy cookies and are popular with baking bloggers, but this white chocolate and cookie butter cookie is a great way to reinvent the classic speculaas biscuit. The spread was inspired by the Dutch snack which is comprised of white bread, a thick smear of butter, and is topped with speculaas biscuits. If the snack wasn’t eaten right away, the biscuits would soften, especially over the course of the day if it was packed for lunch. Cookie butter mimics this idea by pre-blending the oil and biscuit crumbs with a few other staples.
“Cookie butter” isn’t hard to find, but I opted to make my own (and jar some as gifts for later). Many of the shops in the region carry Dutch imports so it was easy enough to find the main ingredient, speculaas biscuits. The inclusion of spices such as pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg make the spread work in many applications. I used some speculaas cookies I picked up at Koster’s Bakery in Picture Butte.
For the cookie butter, I doubled the original recipe by liveeatlearn.com and used my food processor to blend 500 grams of speculaas cookies into a fine crumb, before adding 240ml of water and processing into a paste and then adding 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 3/4 cup (plus 2 tablespoons) of solid coconut oil. Please note, MCT oil or liquid coconut oil will not work in this recipe, as the mixture will not solidify.
The cookie recipe itself makes 12 jumbo cookies or can be cut in half to make 24 regular size cookies.
Cream 1/2 cup of cookie butter (homemade or store-bought) with 1/2 cup unsalted butter, one egg and one egg yolk, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 1/4 cup of white sugar, and 2/3 cup of dark brown sugar. In a separate bowl, combine 1 and 3/4 cups of sifted all purpose flour with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and a pinch of salt. If you are using salted butter, omit the additional salt. Add the dry to wet ingredients and mix/fold until combined. Stir in an additional half dozen crushed speculaas cookies and 1 cup of white chocolate chips. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 11-13 minutes for jumbo, or 8-10 minutes for regular sized cookies.
Allow to cool on the sheet and optionally top with 1 part white chocolate chips melted with 1 part cookie butter, microwaved on medium at 10 second intervals until melted. Drizzle on the cookies while still warm and top with crumbled speculaas cookies and a light dusting of cinnamon, if desired.