Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookie ButterPosted: October 7, 2015 | Author: profoundjester | Filed under: Trader Joe's Brand | Tags: 5 stars, Condiments, cookie butter, Deserts, pumpkin pie, Trader Joe's | 7 Comments
Oh no. Now I’m really starting to get alarmed. Trader Joe’s has innaugarated this year’s Pumpkin Madness in a big way – with the introduction of a brand new type of cookie butter – Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spiced Cookie Butter.
|What it is:||Cookie butter that tastes like pumpkin pie.|
|Price:||$3.99 for a 14.1 oz jar.|
|Worth it:||Yes – it’s cookie butter.|
Look, on the one hand this is nothing if not welcome news. Any time Trader Joe’s wants to expand their absolutely heavenly line of cookie butter products is fine by me. Previous entries include Trader Joe’s Crunchy Cookie Butter, Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter and Nutella, Trader Joe’s Oreo-based Cookies and Creme Cookie Butter, not to mention all the countless offshoots and ancillary confections made with that tongue-melting, heart-stopping emulsified cookie sweetness.
In certain ways, Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spiced Cookie Butter is the most radical new member to the family. Here, for the first time ever, do we have a cookie butter not actually based on any real cookie. This is a huge move, on par with the introduction of the Cookies and Creme cookie butter. That Oreo-based cookie butter excited me because it suggested Trader Joe’s would start introducing new cookie butters based on entirely different types of cookies, not just the gold standard speculoos cookie. Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookie Butter takes it one step further, throwing the doors open to any sort of spice or confection imaginable.
This terrifies me slightly – in the same way that staring into the unshielded face of God himself would terrify me. Trader Joe’s has essentially taken us all one huge step closer to just selling us frosting as a sandwich spread. The Cookies and Creme cookie butter was close enough already – without cookies in the equation, there’s nothing holding them back. Give it a few more years, and we’ll be seeing Trader Joe’s Tahitian Vanilla “Cookie Butter” spread, that’s nothing more than a screw-top jar of creamy delicious frosting that we’ll all have been Pavlovian conditioned eat straight from the jar. Is that the dystopia or utopia?
Or maybe I’m just getting over excited. In any case, this is a delicious new entry into the cookie butter family. It tastes just like you hope a pumpkin pie spice cookie butter would taste. A sweet hint of pumpkin is the first taste that will hits your tongue, as well as the lingering aftertaste. In between, you’ll be treated to a gooey, nuanced mix of cookie bits, with pumpkin puree, pumpkin powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves.
Instead of speculoos cookies this time around, Trader Joe’s makes use of some sort of pumpkin, sugar cookie crumbs. These cookie crumbs are made with pumpkin puree and organic pumpkin powder, but they’re much too small to really get a taste of. This forms the basis for the crunchy bits of cookie crumb in the mix (more like crunchy cookie butter than the creamy kind), but it’s actually the least delicious part. Far more interesting are the complex notes of the pumpkin pie spices, and the enduring pumpkin flavor, all of which are captured in excellent clarity.
More than anything this cookie butter tastes like a slice of pumpkin pie (complete with crust) that has been blended down into delicious sludge – a gooey pumpkin pie in a jar. How amazing would it be to make a pumpkin pie out of this pumpkin spice cookie butter, rather than traditional pumpkin filling? Pumpkin Pie-ception
Like all other types of cookie butter, the biggest question is, “What do you actually do with this stuff?” The most obvious answer is “just spoon it straight into your face”, but for those of us who try to maintain a bit of decorum, it’s also great on waffle, pancakes and even in peanut butter sandwiches. It can also work as a seasonal dip for pretzels, apples or even celery.
Another big question – is Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookie Butter actually any better than Trader Joe’s regular cookie butter? Once again, I have to say that while this is interesting addition and delicious in its own right, it still doesn’t dethrone our glorious reigning king, the original cookie butter. Nevertheless, it’s a welcome addtion to my patry this autumn and, a seasonal treat to be looked forward to like egg nog or Halloween candy. Here’s hoping it returns again next year.
Would I Recommend It: It’s cookie butter, so yeah.
Would I Buy It Again: I have, like, three different cookie butters in my cabinet right now. Of course I will.
Final Synopsis: Pumpkin cookie based cookie butter, with plenty of pumpkin spices.
Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter Cream CheesePosted: September 3, 2015 | Author: profoundjester | Filed under: Trader Joe's Brand | Tags: 4 stars, Condiments, cookie butter, cream cheese, speculoos, Trader Joe's Brand | 1 Comment
Our week of decadence continues with Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter Cream Cheese. On Tuesday we had a look at Trader Joe’s overwhelming burrata and prosciutto flatbread. The excess of rich cheese and meat on that was literally too much of a good thing. It’s easy to image that a cookie butter infused cream cheese might stumble into the same pitfall. Luckily for us, that’s not the case, as this heavenly cream cheese balances its two decadent elements in harmony.
|What it is:||Cookie butter flavored cream cheese.|
|Price:||$3.29 for an 8 oz. tub|
|Worth it:||Yes. Cookie butter is always worth it.|
In hindsight, it’s only natural that Trader Joe’s would introduce a cookie butter flavored cream cheese. After all, they already have a Cookie Butter Cheesecake and Cookie Butter Cheesecake Bites. The next natural step is to just release cookie butter cheesecake directly to the populous so we can start mainstreaming it directly into our arteries.
TJ’s takes a straight forward approach to creating this delicious stuff. Realizing there’s no need to reinvent the wheel here, Cookie Butter Cream Cheese only has four ingredients: cream cheese, speculoos cookie butter, crushed speculoos cookies, and brown sugar.
The result tastes like a 50/50 (or maybe 60/40) mix of cream cheese and cookie butter. It start out with the mild, cool and creamy flavor of a smooth cream cheese, instilled with the flavor of warm and yummy and ever so delicious speculoos cookie butter. In terms of intensity, the flavor is similar to the gingerbread and pumpkin spice cream cheeses that show up in grocery stores around the holidays.
Essentially, it tastes like a thicker, more mild version of everyone’s favorite cookie-based condiment. That may not make it a household necessity, strictly speaking, but it does give you yet another way to incorporate cookie butter into your diet. Sure, we already have the cookie butter cheese cakes, cookie butter spreads, cookie butter ice cream and cookie butter filled cookies, but now we have a way to eat it for breakfast too.
The obvious applications are to serve it up on nice slice of toast, or golden-brown bagel, but there’s nothing to stop you from going wild and using it as a fruit dip, as the basis for amazing cream cheese frosting, or even making your own cookie butter cheese cake from scratch.
As for me, I already fall pray to the siren song of cookie butter too often as it is – scooping illicit spoonfuls into my mouth when my willpower breaks down. This cookie butter cream cheese may not be quite as rich and tempting as the original version, but odds are I won’t be able to keep it in my fridge for long.
Would I Recommend It: Yeah, you should definitely try this.
Would I Buy It Again: Not if I want to loose any weight.
Final Synopsis: Cream cheese with a mild cookie butter taste.
Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter Cheesecake BitesPosted: April 30, 2015 | Author: profoundjester | Filed under: Trader Joe's Brand | Tags: cake, cheesecake, cookie butter, cookie butter cheesecake, Deserts, speculoos, Trader Joe's Brand | Leave a comment
Yowza, cookie butter is back – this time in bite-sized cheesecake form! Let out the angelic choir and ring the church bell until it cracks – happy days are here again!
Or wait a minute. Am I being too hasty?
After all, didn’t Trader Joe’s full-sized Speculoos Cookie Butter Cheesecake fall a little short of the mark? And isn’t it true that while Speculoos Cookie Butter is, by itself, the finest achievement humankind has ever produced, that most of Trader Joe’s cookie butter spin offs have suffered from the difficulty of living up to the bar set by their near-perfect progenitor?
Yes, as we’ve seen time and time again, speculoos cookie butter, when mixed with other things, is almost never as good as cookie butter by itself. Yes, these cheesecake bites are delicious – delicate, decadent and the perfect size to indulge on without feeling guilty. However, while they succeed as cheesecake bites, they don’t actually taste like cookie butter.
This probably isn’t the end of the world. Any cheesecake is better than no cheesecake, and certainly speculoos cheesecake bites are much better than no cheesecake bites at all. They only real problem I have is, if you’re going to sell me on cookie butter, I expect the cookie butter to be there. In this case, despite the mouthwatering nature of each pretty little bite, there just isn’t any cookie butter taste to speak of.
Even though the top of each bite is swirled with a little smear of cookie butter, that taste doesn’t come through. There’s some magic something in cookie butter that is lost as soon as you start blending it into other deserts, and in this case it’s lost almost completely. Compare these to the Trader Joe’s full-sized cookie butter cheesecake. That whole cake was layered with a thick schmear of delicious speculoos, and it still lost something in the execution.
On the other hand, this is Trader Joe’s very first foray into making cheesecake bites, and as an experimental product, I love it! It’s a cold, hard fact that cheesecake is the best damn desert a person can hope for – and it’s an equally cold, hard fact that if you eat more than a slice and a half of cheesecake in one sitting your heart will clog up and explode. These cheesecake bites allow you to indulge in a bite-sized square (or three) of cheesecake, satisfying that craving without blowing out all your fitness goals.
As a way to get people on board for bite-sized cheesecake squares, it makes sense to launch the product with that cookie butter name recognition. However, as a cookie butter product, they don’t really stand up to scrutiny. TJ, you should have more faith in your delicious cheesecake recipe – these are delicious by themselves, with or without cookie butter.
Would I Recommend It: Yup, as long as you aren’t hankering for a cookie butter fix.
Would I Buy Them Again: Yeah, the next time a cheesecake craving strikes.
Final Synopsis: Great as little bites of cheesecake, not so great as a cookie butter delivery system.
Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter Sandwich CookiesPosted: March 3, 2015 | Author: profoundjester | Filed under: COOKIE BUTTER!, Cookies, Trader Joe's Brand | Tags: 4 stars, cookie butter, Cookies, Trader Joe's | 1 Comment
Hold the presses! Hold the presses once again folks, for Trader Joe’s has unleashed a new form of cookie butter delivery system upon the world. This time they’ve packaged their joyful condiment in the form of Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies – a delicious butter cookie / cookie butter sandwich.
If you’re not familiar with cookie butter, and that would truly be tragedy, you can better educate yourself on the topic here, here, here, here and here. Basically any time Trader Joe’s develops some new application of this most delicious cookie spread I will be there to buy it. If you don’t have the time to work your way through the backlog of posts, the tl;dr version goes like this:
Cookie Butter is like peanut butter – only it’s made from the delicious European cookie speculoos instead of peanuts. It tastes so good that once you eat it you will generate a sort of free-floating anger at the world for not inventing it sooner. HOWEVER – cookie butter is also a curse. It is so truly wonderful in and of itself that combining it with anything only seems to dilute its goodness.
The sorry truth is that the best way to enjoy Cookie Butter is to just spoon it directly into your mouth like a decadent Roman emperor. Trader Joe’s has tried numerous times to improve upon cookie butter, and each time they have failed. Cookie butter and Nutella failed, Oreo cookie butter fell short, and even Cookie Butter Cheesecake fell short of the mark set by a simple spoonful of cookie butter, eaten all by itself.
Nevertheless, Trader Joe’s refuses to give up on the dream of improving cookie butter. Which leads to the periodic release of new developments such as our speciment today – Cookie sandwiches with cookie butter.
How did they do this time? Well, first off, it’s cookie butter, so it’s pretty damn good. More specifically, however, it’s really damn good. It’s hard to see where they could improve on these sandwich cookies. Two simple, but sweet and flaky butter cookies are sandwiched around a thick swathe of divine cookie butter. The result is a really handy way to get cookie butter into your mouth without getting your fingers sticky.
It’s in the use of plain butter cookies that Trader Joe’s really succeeds on this count. I’m sure that someone suggested using speculoos cookies for the two cookie halves, they may have even tried it, but that would only have muddled the decadent cookie butter taste. On the other hand, these basic butter cookies simply stay out of the way. They provide a nice crunch, and a nice mild sweetness but don’t get in the way of the main attraction. You really taste the cookie butter in these cookies, and not much else. That shows that TJ’s is learning. Come for the cookie butter and get the cookie butter- it’s an easy formula but a winning one.
There’s only one point I found myself disappointed on – and that is dunkability. With any sandwich cookie – oreo or otherwise – the mind immediately turns to a glass of cool, dunkable milk. Now there are certainly a plurality of theories on the perfect way to dunk a cookie, but the general consensus holds that you want a sort of al dente toothsomeness – yielding but not too soft. Unfortunately, the butter cookies involved here don’t lend themselves to that at all. Denser and not as porous as an Oreo, you’ll have to hold one of these cookies under the surface a long time before they even start absorbing milk. The butter cookies give you that “water off a ducks back” phenomenon, keeping the core resolutely dry no matter how much you dunk. Phooey. If they’d stuck the landing it would have been a solid 5 star performance.
Are these cookie sandwiches any better than cookie butter by itself? Not better, but almost as good – and that’s saying something. By keeping it clean and simple, you end up getting that same delightful cookie butter taste, with a bit of added crunchiness. If you want to think of these as a great all around cookie to serve anytime, or as a less barbaric way to get your cookie butter intake, you wouldn’t be poorly served. You can chalk this up as another “W” on the cookie butter scoreboard.
Would I Recommend It: Yes, this is an awesome new way to eat cookie butter.
Would I Buy It Again: Definitely, if I could trust myself around it.
Final Synopsis: Delicious cookie butter sandwiched between two pleasantly low key butter cookies.
Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter CheesecakePosted: December 11, 2014 | Author: profoundjester | Filed under: COOKIE BUTTER!, Desserts, Trader Joe's Brand | Tags: cheesecake, cookie butter, cookie butter cheesecake, Trader Joe's | 1 Comment
Stop the presses folks. World shaking news is afoot.
Look, we all know and love Cookie Butter,we love it crunchy, we love it as ice cream, we even love it when it’s made from Oreo cookies. Now Trader Joe’s has taken it all two steps further by putting it on cheesecake. Yes, you read that right – cookie butter cheesecake – just in time for the holidays.
For those of you who are still, bafflelingly, in the dark about cookie butter, it’s that miraculous creamy substance that replaces the peanuts in peanut butter with ground up speculoos cookie. Reminiscent of sugar cookies and ginger bread, this creamy, sweet, smooth and delicious treat is so good that it makes peanut butter look like parsley. It’s simply fantastic.
What TJ’s has dared to do here is spread a thick shmear of cookie butter across the top of an ordinary cheesecake, then set the whole thing in a crust made from crushed up speculoos cookies. Brilliant move on both accounts. Resisting the temptation to mix the cookie butter into the cheesecake filling itself is absolutely the right move – choosing to let the cookie butter speak for itself instead of diluting it with lesser sugars. The cookie crust is just a little extra flourish that adds a tasty touch to an already very tasty cake.
As we’ve noted before, Trader Joe’s has struggled to trump their simple, flagship creation, ordinary cookie butter. The issue is that cookie butter is so good on its own that mixing it with anything – even if that anything is nutella, tastes less delicious. It’s like we’re dealing with cocaine – the more stuff you cut that sweet nose candy with, the less pure it becomes.
It’s a daunting task, but combining cookie butter with cheesecake is brilliant enough that it seems it might work. If there’s anything in this world as rich and decadent as cookie butter, it’s cheesecake. Maybe even more so! Isn’t it possible that the whole thing is going to be a mouth-melting act of dietary terrorism so rich that the smallest slice will overwhelm all but the stoutest gourmands?
As it turns out – no. Despite all the potential, cookie butter cheesecake falls short of its promise.
“How could that possibly be,” you may be wondering, “Given such a pedigree?”
Well, I’m certainly not saying it isn’t a good cheesecake. It is. It’s very good – sweet, creamy, smooth and delicious. No one will be turning down a slice of this cheesecake after dinner. It won’t be going back into the freezer for another day. This is a fine and tasty cheesecake that people will eat up despite themselves.
That said, I was disappointed by my first bite. I expect cookie butter to be exceptional, and this cheesecake isn’t particularly exceptional in any way. It’s entirely tasty, but it’s not going to blow your mind or anything. Again, that’s not really an insult. The cake is well thought through. Trader Joe’s obviously considered making a much more decadent cheesecake and pulled back. What you get is not as overwhelmingly sweet as you might imagine. Both the cheesecake filling and the cookie butter topping seems less intense than they usually are. Here, this works to their advantage. The one seems to mellow out the intense, rich taste of the other, making it much easier to enjoy a whole slice of this cheesecake than it is to enjoy a whole spoonful of cookie butter by itself.
While this works for the cake, and works quite deliciously, it doesn’t elevate the dessert to either the cookie butter or cheesecake hall of fame. The fact of the matter is that I’ve had other cheesecakes, non cookie-butter cheesecakes, that are better than this one. Given the immense calorie value and special occasion status of cheesecake, I’m looking for something stunning to put in my mouth – not merely good.
It’s a noble try, and a delicious one, but the quest for a superior form of cookie butter continues.
Would I Recommend It: Yes, this is a pretty good cheesecake, and worth a try for cookie butter lovers.
Would I Buy It Again: Probably not. There are better cheesecakes (and cookie butter products) out there.
Final Synopsis: Good – but not as good as it sounds.
Trader Joe’s Cookies and Creme Cookie ButterPosted: October 14, 2014 | Author: profoundjester | Filed under: Condiments, COOKIE BUTTER!, Snacks, Trader Joe's Brand | Tags: 5 stars, cookie butter, joe joe's, oreos, Trader Joe's Brand | 4 Comments
Hold the goddamn presses, ladies and gentlemen. We may be in the very height of pumpkin season, the most exciting time of the year of the Trader Joe’s product reviewer, but we’ve got to forget about all that for a minute. Novel pumpkin products are all well and good, but Trader Joe’s has just released something of national importance. I’m speaking, of course, of Trader Joe’s new Cookies and Creme Cookie Butter. It is, not to mince words, Cookie Butter made from Oreos.
Yes, Oreos. Oreo cookie butter.
I understand if you need another minute to grapple with this fact. Take your time. Breathe.
Look guys – look. I’ve occasionally accused Trader Joe’s of screwing around, hinted that maybe they don’t always know what they’re doing. I take all that back, because this is a masterstroke. Needless to say, it is almost terrifyingly delicious.
The orignal Cookie Butter, precious Speculoos Cookie Butter, our lord and savior, has always been great. It’s been there for us in thick and thin, when times are tough as in times of bounty. Its creation objectively improved the state of affairs in the world, and its creator should be enshrined upon her death – but for all that, it always seemed to me like it peaked too early.
There was never any other place to go with the original cookie butter, regardless of how Trader Joe’s tried, and tried to improve upon what was already, it appeared to me, unimproveuponable. That was my folly, for while I was naysaying TJ’s efforts, I never in my wildest dreams realized there could be more types of cookie butter. That there was no reason to limit cookie butter just to the original, delicious speculoos cookie base, but to expand it to other types of cookies! To expand it to Oreos!! OREO COOKIE BUTTER!!!
This development is almost unbearable exciting for two reasons. One, it’s super, super delicious. It’s just so damn good. Eating Trader Joe’s Cookie and Creme Cookie Butter is like mainlining Oreos into your blood stream. Oreos or, as I should say, Trader Joe’s Joe Joe’s. Joe Joe’s are, of course, the Trader Joe’s take on Oreos – identical to their forebearer in all ways except the name.
Trader Joe’s has taken these Joe Joe’s, and broken it down into a brand new type of cookie butter – or more correctly, a cookie butter and cream filling swirl. TJ tried this sort of cookie butter swirling before with Trader Joe’s attempted Cookie Butter and Nutella mixture. While in theory this sounded amazing, a couple issues with the flavors kept it form becoming a classic. Those problems are absent here, and the oreo cookies and oreo crème mixture works beautifully together.
The thick, black veins “cocoa” cookie butter tastes exactly like the dark and crunchy cookie part of oreo cookies – only better. Whatever process they were applying to the cinnamon-spiced speculoos cookies they simply applied to the chocolate cookie shell here, making a mostly smooth, slightly crunchy, delightful cookie spread. Everyone knows that the chocolate exterior of the oreo cookie is what you put up with in order to get to the delicious creamy center. What Trader Joe’s has succeeded in doing is taking the tasty essence of that chocolate cookie and distilling it to it’s simple, beautiful core. The resulting cookie butter gives you the strange but amazing sensation of eating a cookie without the chewing.
This amazing, chocolatey cookie butter is paired, naturally, with unbelievable pure stripes of the Joe Joe’s creamy, frosting filling. This filling does taste a little different from the filling you get in a standard joe-joe/oreo, but it’s hard to say why. The creamy filling here is much softer than what you find in the cookie form, and there is much more of it. If anything, it tastes better than it does in ordinary cookie form.
I’ve often dreamed of getting a whole bag of oreo cookies, scraping out just the filling and eating it all at once, but never dared to try lest the delicious taste drive me insane. Where I only dreamed, Trader Joe’s has acted, not only combining the creamy filling together in one place, but making it even gooier and creamier. This is literally a dream come true.
There is no down side to Trader Joe’s Cookies and Creme Cookie Butter – there is only the challenge it presents to your existence. How can you go on living a normal life, knowing this new product is in the world. Are any of the rationales that prop up your life strong enough to stand up against the idea of just sitting down and eating an entire jar of Cookies and Creme Cookie Butter with your bare hands? This is a non-trivial question, folks.
The biggest challenge, really, comes from trying to figure out what to do with this stuff. It’s very, very tasty, that’s true, but there isn’t really a decent way to cook with it. Even Trader Joe’s acknowldeges this on the side of the jar, listing three feeble ideas (dip pretzles in it?) before admitting that you can “eat it right out of the jar”. And really, that does seem to be the most enjoyable thing to do with this cookie butter – aside from possible covering your nude body with it and plunging into an unimaginably hedonistic orgy. This cookie butter is less a condiment than it is a confection in a jar. It’s like an advanced form of super cookie that, nevertheless, fills the exact same space in your life that regular cookies do – enjoyable moments of indulgent snacking. Cookie butter just does it more efficiently
This brings us to the big question – is Trader Joe’s Cookies and Creme Cookie Butter better than Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter? It’s a serious quandary, and one that I’ve considered carefully over many spoonfuls of both these spreads. In my considered opinion, the original cookie butter is still best. While the cookies and creme cookie butter is amazing, and delicous and wonderful, it’s almost overwhelming sweet. In the long run, when eaten directly, it tends to be a bit one note compared to the somewhat more nuanced speculoos cookie butter. In the absence of any real recipes to incorporate these amazing spreads into – if we’re simply eating them out of the jars with our fingers like elevated apes – the win goes to Speculoos Cookie Butter, where the remarkable sweetness is tempered by the more complex, spiced flavor of that classic Christmas cookie taste.
That said, so long as Trader Joe’s continues producing both there’s no reason to choose. Buy them both, and enjoy them in unguarded moments, gliding upon the clouds of heaven.
Would I Recommend It: YES!
Would I Buy It Again: YES! YES!!!
Final Synopsis: COOKIE BUTTER MADE FROM OREOS! BUY NOW!
Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter Ice CreamPosted: August 21, 2014 | Author: profoundjester | Filed under: COOKIE BUTTER!, Desserts, Frozen Food, Trader Joe's Brand | Tags: 5 stars, cookie butter, ice cream, recipie, Trader Joe's, vanilla | 1 Comment
We all know about Cookie Butter. We all know that it’s a semi-divine creation that has melted hearts across the nation and, in fact, the world – lighting up the taste buds with the decanted taste of pure Christmas from here to Belgium. If, and it saddens me to even spin the hypothesis, you don’t know what cookie butter is, you had better educate yourself.
Now, it has long been my firm stance that cookie butter is like an edible form of elemental gold – pure and perfect in and of itself. We’ve seen that mixing it with anything else, even Nutella (?!), merely dilutes it’s purity and introduces imperfections.
So it was with a great deal of excitement, but also skepticism, that I picked up Trader Joe’s latest, greatest development – Cookie Butter Ice Cream. On the one hand, how could cookie butter ice cream possibly be better than cookie butter by itself. ON the other hand, it’s ice cream! Maybe “Nutella” couldn’t do the job, but if there was ever anything that could improve on CB it’s a good helping of heavy cream and sugar.
These are high stakes to be sure. Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter Ice Cream is sure to either elate me to previously imagined heights of ecstasy, or deliver a crushing blow to the solar plexus of my soul – there is no middle ground here.
It is to my elation that I can report Trader Joe’s really knocked this one out of the park – an undeniable master stroke. How did TJ manage it? The answer is as simple as it is brilliant. Starting with a nice, creamy vanilla they mixed in a plenty of crushed speculoos – permeating the medium with that cookie butter taste. On top of that, is this is what carries the day, they wove ribbons of pure cookie butter, caramel like, through the whole thing. The result is a sweet, delicious ice cream that alternates moments of low-key, pleasant cookie butter taste with bursts of intense, uncut cookie butter. I don’t see how heroine can be illegal while this isn’t, but regardless you and I get to reap the windfall.
There’s not much more to add, really – the ice cream is as good as you want it to be. If you’re still reading at my post at this point, you should obviously stop and go out to buy some cookie butter ice cream. Eat some of that, then come back and we can finish here.
The question of how to incorporate Cookie Butter Ice Cream into a recipe is may well be as futile as asking that question of cookie butter itself. It’s hard to improve on eating it straight from the bucket – sometimes even the spoon seems like a cruel impediment standing between you and sweet, sweet cookie butter. Nevertheless, I took my best shot at it with this week’s recipe for Salted Cookie Butter Ice Cream Shakes.
Is it better than the straight ice cream? I can’t look you straight in the eyes and say that. It might be better to think of the recipe as a remix of a song you really like, as another way to experience that initial rush over again.
Salted Cookie Butter Ice Cream Shake
- ~ 3 cups of Cookie Butter Ice Cream
- ~1 cup milk
- A pinch of Trader Joe’s Pyramid Salt
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and puree to your heart’s content.
I would recommend using whole milk, or even Trader Joe’s Organic Top Cream Milk, for the creamiest taste.
Also, a note on the salt. I used the pyramid shaped flake salt we’ve looked at before. The advantage is that even after blending there are small flakes of salt suspended in the shake, meaning you get little pleasant moments of saltiness to highlight the sweetness. If you don’t have flake salt on hand, consider just throwing a tiny pinch of salt on top at the end, instead of blending it in.
Would I Recommend It: Yes. If I met the President, I’d probably recommend it to him.
Would I Buy It Again: Sure, whenever they’re not sold out.
Final Synopsis: Cookie butter meets vanilla ice cream – and it’s as good as you’d hope.
Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie ButterPosted: March 23, 2012 | Author: profoundjester | Filed under: Condiments, COOKIE BUTTER!, Snacks, Trader Joe's Brand | Tags: cookie butter, speculoos | 6 Comments
Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter
I have been remiss, criminally, criminally remiss, to have not mentioned cookie butter on my blog to this point.
What can be said about this marvelous paste. It has been said that, “(Cookie butter) is the best stuff on earth.” I have also heard that “The life is cookie butter, and cookie butter is the life.” Less esoterically perhaps, and certainly more to the point, cookie butter has also been said to “taste like Christmas.” But does cookie butter live up to these claims – this, a product hiterto unknown to all but the most deeply entrenched in the culture of European import food shop?
The answer is yes. This can brook no argument. Behind me in my apartment I have stockpiled a small but significant quantity of weaponry in case I’m called upon to fight for this belief. I know this is a hard sell to those of you out there who have not yet tried this strange-sounding substance. We’re all familiar with peanut butter, a good many of us even with apple butter, but cookie butter? The name resists our minds attempt to parse the taste. Can they even do that?, we wonder. Surely they’re not just smooshing an indiscriminate bunch of cookies together and then voila, into the jars it goes.
My best advice to you is simply don’t ask, just try it. All the questions will wash away in a flood of understanding that may be quasi-religious. For the skeptical, I’d put it this way. You know peanut butter? That amazing substance that goes good with everything – chocolate, apples, bread, raisins, ice cream – everything? Peanut butter that you’d never turn down a nice spoonful of just right out of the jar it tastes so good? Well once you try cookie butter you’ll never go weak in the knees for peanut butter again. Cookie butter not only out performs peanut butter in the taste department in a big way, it actually transcends the foods it goes on. Combining it with things actually detracts from the amazing taste of the cookie butter itself. It has no need to be weakened and debased through novelty alloys. It’s like elemental gold, pure in and of itself with no need to be weakened and debased through alloys. Consider this simple equation: peanut butter plus chocolate = delicious. Cookie butter plus chocolate = not as good as cookie butter alone. As shocked as I am to say it the math speaks for itself – cookie butter is better than chocolate.
We owe our thanks to the Belgians for this wonderful cream. As the label itself boldly states this cookie butter is “Speculoos”. Speculoos itself is the eponymous cookie used in the concotion. It originally hails from the Low Countries where it has been baked for the Feast of St. Nicholas for centuries. Though the word is Dutch, and likely the recipe for the cookie used as well, it was the blessed Belgians who first decided to blend cookie crumbs into a spread. In early 2007 a Belgian chef went on the blockbuster Belgian prime time hit De Bedenkers (The Inventors) with the creation and by November had risen from a crowd of over 2,000 entrants to the position of finalist. It is no wonder. Cookie butter was first marketed by the European company Lotus as Biscoff Butter. And though Biscoff butter is very, very nice, the food wizards at Trader Joes have improved over even it with a creamier texture and more nuanced blend of spices.
Please, if you disregard every other word I write until I shrivel and die in the cold and my soul drifts off to the void of a godless sky, do not disregard these. Try Cookie Butter.
Would I recommend it: Dur, I dunno – maybe.
Would I buy it again: I would fight you for the last jar if I had to. I would gouge your damn eyes out.
Final Synopsis: Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter is proof that man has at last surpassed God himself.