Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups aka Chocolate Covered Crack

Monday, September 17, 2012

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I learned something new the other day.  I learned that I cannot live without this stuff:

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I kid you not, dear readers.  It is crack in a jar.

Last week, after many months of anticipation, a Trader Joe’s opened up a mere three blocks from my house.  SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!  Yes, you read right -  three blocks.   That’s practically in my own backyard!   I can walk or bike there if I want.  But, I’ll probably need to take the SUV when I go, if you know what I mean.

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Yup.  I’ll definitely need the SUV.

Since I wanted to maximize my first Trader Joe’s shopping experience, I did some advance planning via Facebook.  I asked my friends in the “Trader Joe’s know” to  divulge what their absolute must have products were.  Over and over again I got the same response:  “Speculoos Cookie Butter”.  At the time, I had no idea what Speculoos Cookie Butter was. But, it didn’t matter. If that many people recommended it, I was buying it.

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My first thought was that it was some kind of real butter.  But when I searched the dairy aisle I couldn’t find it.   I started to panic a little.  Did everybody else in town beat me to it?  Could they already be sold out?  I nervously asked an employee where I could find the Cookie Butter and she directed me to the peanut butter aisle, where I found multiple jars of the stuff.  Apparently,  TJ’s Cookie Butter is actually a spread made from crushed speculoos cookies.  Speculoos are thin, very crunchy, Belgian spice cookies made with flour, brown sugar, butter and fragrant, earthy spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and cardamom.   Biscoff cookies are essentially speculoos, and TJ’s Cookie Butter is very similar to Biscoff Spread  – only better – much, much better.  Don’t get me wrong.  I like Biscoff Spread.  But, TJ’s Cookie Butter is quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever eaten.   How good is it, you ask?  Well, I went back three times last week to buy more.  Each time, I went through a different checkout line so as not to get busted.  Pretty soon I may have to resort to wearing a disguise.  That’s how good it is.

disguised

Guess who?

Since I now have a stockpile of TJ’s Cookie Butter in my pantry, I decided that I should probably justify my greed by trying it in a few recipes.  You know, in the name of “research”.  Lots of tantalizing treats came to mind:  cheesecake, ice cream, and…Cookie Butter Cups.  Cookie Butter Cups!  Gah!   As if my obsession wasn’t already bad enough, now I was going to smother it in chocolate.

Cookie Butter Cups are just like peanut butter cups, except that the peanut butter is swapped out for cookie butter.  In the traditional confection, the peanut butter is combined with powdered sugar and a little butter.  Since the cookie butter is a little bit firmer that peanut butter, I microwaved it with the butter for about 30 seconds for a batter-like consistency.  Doing this makes it much easier to get the powdered sugar all mixed in.   Once the cookie butter filling is pretty well homogenized, it’s formed into small balls and left to firm up in the fridge.

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While the cookie butter balls are chilling, it’s time to get the chocolate ready.  You can use any kind of chocolate you want.  Just remember that the quality of the product you choose will directly affect your final result.  In other words, use  a chocolate that you really like.  For my cups, I used a combination of Ghirardelli milk and semisweet chocolate chips.  If I’d had some Valrhona chunks in the house, I would have used them.

Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners.  Do NOT skip this step, or you’ll be chipping out your cookie butter cups with a hammer and a chisel.  Blast your chocolate together with some shortening in the microwave in thirty second increments until it is all melted and smooth.  Then, fill each muffin liner with about a teaspoon of melted chocolate.  You just want to coat the bottoms with a thin layer of chocolate.  Once all of the liners have been filled, pop the tin into the fridge for about fifteen minutes to set.  The cookie butter balls and the chocolate should be ready for the next step at the same time.

Next, place a ball on top of the chocolate in each paper liner.  I actually shaved a little off the tops of each ball so they wouldn’t poke through the tops of the cookie butter cups.  Don’t worry about wastage.  You can snack on the shavings while you work.  That’s one of the perks of being the chef de cuisine in your own kitchen.

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After that, spoon enough melted chocolate into each liner to completely enrobe the balls. Don’t forget to purposely get chocolate drips on your fingers, so you’ll have to lick it off.  Of course I don’t do that.  Just sayin’.  Gently tap the tin on the counter a few times to make sure that the chocolate gets into all of the nooks and crannies. Finally, put the tin back in the fridge again until the cookie butter cups are completely set.

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These Cookie Butter Cups are a great after-school treat for the kids as wells as a decadent indulgence for us grown-ups.  Plus, they’re super easy to make.  There’s no cooking or baking involved, except for a few minutes of microwaving.  Hell, even Mr. SGCC could manage that!  And, lordy, lordy, lordy, they are so ridiculously good!  It’s almost obscene!  I can’t wait to make some for Mini SGCC when we go to visit her at college in a few weeks.  She’s a Reese’s nut, and I know she’s gonna go crazy over these.

As fabulous as Cookie Butter Cups are, however, there is one down side to making them.  And, that’s the empty jar of Cookie Butter that’s left when you’re done.

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29 responses to Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups aka Chocolate Covered Crack

  1. On September 17, 2012 at 1:35pm, Stephanie said...

    I just got into Cookie Butter myself! Best stuff EVER!

  2. On September 17, 2012 at 1:57pm, IdaBaker said...

    Unfortunately, I don’t have a Trader Joe’s close by, using the alternative, I’ll enjoy making these, but enjoy eating them more. :)

  3. On September 17, 2012 at 2:11pm, Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos said...

    Susan – I’m so blaming you for this cookie butter addiction path that you set me on. If you find me selling my stilettos to get funds for more cookie butter, please slap me :)

    In all seriousness – I can’t thank you ENOUGH for spotlighting this. I’ve been buying them in bulk at TJs – I have one jar for home, one for work, and the rest are in the pantry for emergencies – yeah, that’s it – emergencies – like a hurricane, blizzard – rainstorm. Wait -we have a rainstorm coming tomorrow. I better go back to Trader Joes and pick up another couple jars. :)

    • On September 17, 2012 at 5:31pm, Susan said...

      Lol, Aly! Blame away! You sound as obsessed as I am. I’m just glad that you live far away and don’t shop at my TJ’s. Or else we might come to blows over that cookie butter! ;)

  4. On September 17, 2012 at 2:19pm, Kayle (The Cooking Actress) said...

    I really need to get some of that cookie butter, I’ve been fantasizing about it for sooo long! And these cookie cups look like they’d be like crack!!!

    • On September 17, 2012 at 5:32pm, Susan said...

      Ha! Don’t say I didn’t warn you… :)

  5. On September 17, 2012 at 2:26pm, Rosa said...

    That paste is addictive (I buy mine in neighboring France). Your cookie cups are just too irresistible!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  6. On September 17, 2012 at 4:14pm, Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. said...

    omg fabulous!

  7. On September 17, 2012 at 4:36pm, Kristina said...

    Your cookie cups look too good! And so jealous.. they’re so pretty! I’ve had the hardest time making pretty peanut butter cups :) These are fabulous!

    • On September 17, 2012 at 5:34pm, Susan said...

      I think the trick is to gently tap the tin on the counter before you pop them in the fridge. That helps the chocolate trickle down into all of the nooks and crannies. Of course, you “have” to keep all the unattractive ones for yourself. ;)

  8. On September 17, 2012 at 5:03pm, Corinne said...

    We are getting a Trader Joe’s store in the greater Rochester, NY area very soon…guess that I know what I will be buying there…:))) Thanks SO MUCH for the great recipe…!!!!!!

    • On September 17, 2012 at 5:36pm, Susan said...

      Enjoy! There’s lots of great stuff at TJ’s besides the cookie butter. You’ll love it! :)

  9. On September 18, 2012 at 12:00am, Foodiewife said...

    What is wrong with me? I shop at Trader Joe’s once a week (we have two in our home town). I bought some of this Speculoos Cookie Butter and have YET to crack it open and try it. In fact, I forgot I had it. I need to change that. These look decadent… perfect for Christmas cookie trays. Nice job!

  10. On September 18, 2012 at 12:11am, Monica said...

    Susan..I was there this past Saturday stocking up as well! I’m going to give you another good one – the salted caramel sauce.. oh lordy, lordy… and also the Shrimp cord dogs – oh yes, you read it right SHRIMP CORN DOGS… O.M.G.!

  11. On September 18, 2012 at 9:40am, Lori Thomas said...

    One more reason to go to Trader Joes. Loved your efforts at going incognito!

  12. On September 18, 2012 at 10:09am, bellini said...

    Lucky gal!! If only Trader Joe’s would come to our little town, I am not even sure if there is one in Canada. I did venture there for the first time a few years ago when I was in San Francisco.

  13. On September 18, 2012 at 1:00pm, Erin @ Texanerin Baking said...

    We don’t have Trader Joe’s in Germany (although we have Trader Joe’s nuts and dried fruit at Aldi, which is kind of weird) so I use Biscoff. I bet this cookie butter is even better! These cups look awesome. :)

  14. On September 18, 2012 at 3:27pm, Beth @ Good to be the Cook said...

    I LOVE COOKIE BUTTER!! OMGOMGOMG! TJ’s is my fav place ever, your cart looked fabulous. Enjoy having one around the corner… let me know if you need any suggestions! I shop there all the time and used to work there too :)

  15. On September 18, 2012 at 3:41pm, The Food Hound said...

    A new TJ just opened near us, too!! I LOVE speculoos- I used to live in Belgium so there is a super soft spot in my heart for anything related to speculoos :) I have to try this spread- sounds like something I’ll want to hoard in a closet and eat all by myself so as not to have to share. The way you used it in these chocolates is awesome. Maybe I’ll make them for Halloween and not give them out, ha!

  16. On September 19, 2012 at 9:05pm, Y.S. Santos said...

    Wow! I can practically feel the sugar rushing through my veins reading this and looking at the pictures. Thanks Susan!

  17. On September 19, 2012 at 9:50pm, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    I have yet to try cookie butter, even though TJ’s is pretty convenient to me (so much so that the novelty wore off a few years ago). I’m afraid to have it in the house for the same reason I won’t keep Nutella around the house. If I had your cups around the house, it would be utterly lethal.

    Walk or bike. The planet will thank you! I wish I could walk to more of my favorite shopping destinations!

  18. On September 24, 2012 at 3:55am, Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden said...

    Simply adorable! I think I would eat tons of these sweet little cookies If I ever made them! Great post

  19. On September 24, 2012 at 2:56pm, Lucy said...

    Wow, I wish TJ’s cookie butter was sold in London, or the UK for that matter! The cups look amazing, I shall have to stock up on the cookie butter next time I go to America.

  20. On September 25, 2012 at 4:05pm, The Food Hunter said...

    Oh My!!! that does sound delicious

  21. On September 26, 2012 at 9:53am, Naomi Mutua said...

    I hate living in Kenya sometimes..just because we don’t have stores like Trader Joe’s. :-(

  22. On October 08, 2012 at 4:59pm, nicole @ I am a Honey Bee said...

    3 blocks from your house!?!?!? Oh I would die!

  23. On October 14, 2012 at 12:39am, rhonda said...

    I love your blog, all your recipes are great. I can’t to try this recipe soon.

  24. On February 11, 2013 at 4:28pm, natha said...

    Hello! :) I’m from Slovakia and I don’t think we have such thing.. :/ Could I use peanut butter? What do you think? These look so much like Reese’s, so I thought, maybe… :D

    Thanks!

  25. On August 19, 2013 at 10:47am, Kristin Russell said...

    I live near a Trader Joe’s and I’ve heard of that cookie butter…… I must get my hands on some immediately!

2 pings to Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups aka Chocolate Covered Crack

  1. On April 16, 2013 at 10:18pm, My All-Time Trader Joe’s Favorites | In The Mixing Bowl pinged...

    [...] Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups from Stick Gooey Creamy Chewy [...]

  2. On October 09, 2013 at 11:35am, Foodies TV » Cookie Cups pinged...

    [...] Cookie Cups (function() { var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = 'text/javascript'; po.async = true; po.src = 'https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })(); Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); [...]

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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