Cookie butter has been floating around in the baking world for quite a while, and recently, recipes for all sorts of cookie butters have been popping up. It’s gained an almost cult-like following in the United States since late 2015, and it’s popularity has only grown in the last year.
But have you tried original, good old-fashioned cookie butter?
It’s made from Speculoo cookies, which is a generic term for crispy, spiced cookies from Belgium. Speculoo cookies are a traditional holiday treat in the Netherlands, usually baked for St. Nicholas’ Day. They have a similar texture and holiday association as the ginger snap would for those of us stateside.
While my family has always celebrated St. Nick’s Day, we’ve always carried on our German traditions, so Speculoo cookies never made it into the holiday canon. Now that we’ve discovered them, though, we can’t imagine a better holiday cookie.
A pretty common version of the cookie is the Biscoff cookie. Biscoff cookies are crunchy cookies with a caramelized, almost butter-like flavor. They’ve been around since the 1930s but are most famous for their appearances as treats on flights. The cookie butter, however, wasn’t introduced until 2011.
These little cookies are so stinking good. I’ve had them plain, as a buttercream, in a cake, but I think my favorite version of these cookies is when they’re dumped into a cheesecake. The Biscoff cookies make an unbelievable crust. They’re flavor is very similar to a graham cracker, but with a richer, more rounded taste. It’s spicy, it’s buttery, it’s oh-so indulgent. The cream cheese adds a whole new level of dreamy to the cookie butter. It’s seriously addicting.
I’m telling you, this cheesecake only lasted one afternoon at my house. It’s that good. So let’s get started.
For the Crust
2 cups finely ground Biscoff cookies, about 36 cookies
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
In a mixing bowl, combine crumbs and butter with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch spring form pan. If you don’t have a spring form pan, use a cake pan lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.
For the Filling
1 pound cream cheese, 2 (8-ounce) blocks, softened
1 cup sugar
1 pint sour cream
1/8 teaspoon lemon juice
1 dash vanilla extract
1/2 cup Biscoff cookie spread, melted
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Slowly add the sugar and continue to beat on low power for 1 minute.
Add the cream cheese, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Continue beating the mixture, taking time to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Be careful not to over-beat the mixture. It will break down. Pour the filling into the crust.
Put the cookie spread in the microwave at 30 second intervals until just melted but not separated. Drizzle over the top of the cheesecake filling. Using a butter knife, drag through the drizzles to create swirls and to push the spread deeper into the filling.
If using a spring form pan, place the pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and pull the sides up around the cake, but do not fully cover the top of the cake. Place the foil-ed cake in a medium-sized roasting pan. Add boiling water until just at the halfway mark on the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Do not overbake! The middle will still be jiggly, but this will set up in the fridge.
Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Let chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving. Tell everyone in the house that it needs to chill for 5 hours, and eat the whole cheesecake by yourself.