This posting marks the second article by Bree Hendrick, generously written for our Guest Posting category.*
I was at Trader Joe’s, my hand outstretched to a jar of the raw unsalted almond butter we usually buy, when something new in the nut butter section caught my attention: “Speculoos Cookie Butter.” That’s right, as if cookies weren’t good enough in solid form, you can now buy them in a jar.
That day, I decided that a jar of Speculoos Cookie Spread did not offer a good enough health trade to replace my Almond Butter. However, on my trip to the Oxnard Heritage Square Food Truck event on April 5th, I again crossed paths with the cookie masquerading as a spread. Being offered by the Crispy Waffle & Frite food truck as a decadant topping for their fluffy yet crispy Belgian waffles, I had a chance to taste the oozy-gooey deliciousness of Speculoos without the commitment of a whole jar. After one bite, I was immediately overwhelmed by the feeling that apparently the Northern European bakers of the speculoos’ origin have been holding out on us.
The Speculoos Biscuits (crushed or whole) have been popular in Belgium, the Netherlands and France for years, especially during the holidays, but only more recently have they picked up momentum in the States. The name is thought to derive from the Latin word for mirror – mainly because the front of the biscuits are stamped with images (think animal cracker, but more sophisticated).
At first sight speculoos looks like peanut butter, but the taste is completely different. It is actually nut free and get this, vegan. It’s not a health food though. The rich flavor is commonly compared to gingerbread cookies, but I likened it to graham cracker. And I really LOVE graham crackers. It gives the smoothness of a nut butter with a surprising sweet crunch of melt-in-your-mouth biscuit. See? I told you they were holding out on us.
The verdict on Speculoos is that it 1.) is guilty of being awesome, 2.) reminds me of the yummy goodness that makes Nutella enjoyable but also, 3.) can be spread on just about anything you can think of. So in other words, speculate no further. This flavorful cookie spread from Belgium is a triple threat.
– Nervous about a whole jar of speculoos as well? Don’t have access to the Crispy Waffle & Frite truck but you have a Trader Joe’s near you? Try the dark chocolate bar filled with speculoos. Like many other peanut butter and chocolate candy bars though, the middle isn’t creamy like it’s jarred counterpart. It is, however, just as delicious.
*Bree Hendrick is a local Ventura resident with an appetite for things that fuel wellness including good food, long runs and fun with friends and family. You can find her during meal time, staring blankly into the refrigerator initially, but often emerging with a surprisingly wonderful meal. She encourages others to be surprised that they can cook too.