There are three little words that send me swooning (next to ‘I love you’), and they are ‘speculoos cookie butter’. (Speculoos is a jazzy name for spiced biscuits.) For some, this heavenly spread/dip/whatever-you-want-it-to-be may be a new idea, but Trader Joes has been producing enough to limit purchases at some locations. What is this cookie butter phenomenon, you ask?
It’s pretty much a story about a gingerbread man who decided to camp out in a jar full of butter, sugar and spices. It’s sweet, spice, everything nice and the quintessential accompaniment to this indulgent season.
I first experimented dipping with pretzels, smothering across my morning toast and eventually eating it by the spoonful. By the third or fourth jar, certain I was feeding a sweet addiction, I made every effort to avoid aisle one. Then last Wednesday happened. My husband wanted to make a unique ice cream, and he ultimately landed on cookie butter as the base ingredient. Little did he know he was encroaching on my addiction, but I didn’t mind. We sought out the perfect mix-in for our cookie butter ice cream from pretzels to chocolate bits. If you’re like us, there’s always room for an extra kick to anything we’re munching. That’s when our gaze swept past them, back to them and then to each other at the sight of TJ’s dark chocolate covered espresso beans. We followed a recipe in our Cuisinart ice cream maker’s manual for peanut butter ice cream but opted for slightly less sugar and of course the beans. You can guess that the ice cream tastes as heavenly as it sounds. Our taste buds have never been so exercised.
1 cup Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered espresso beans
1. Blend cookie butter with milk until mixed thoroughly. Add to ice cream mixing bowl and turn on.
2. Add heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract to the mixer.
3. Pour espresso beans into a food processor, and pulse for about 20 seconds or until desired size is reached.
4. Add espresso bits to the mixer, and let the ice cream churn for 20 minutes reaching a thick, creamy consistency.
5. Move to a freezer-friendly container, and freeze for 2–3 hours.
6. Scoop and serve, or grab the container and enjoy by the spoonful.