Archive for April, 2012

Greetings, Food Friends.  I write to you today about my current obsession: cookie spread.  “What,” you ask, is that?  I will tell you: it is a delectable and amazing product made from ground-up cookies, blended with canola oil.  But it’s not made from just any cookies.  Oh no.  Who’s flown Delta Airlines?  Who knows those little Biscoff cookies they give out?  Uh huh – those little rectangular toasty brown beauties that taste like gingerbread, with a hint of cinnamon.  Crispy, crispy, crispy and rich with butter.  Sooo good with coffee.  Sooo good dunked in milk.  They’re delicious, and I want to hijack the flight attendant’s entire supply of them.  Until recently.  Why?  Because they started showing up in some stores a few years ago.  Just the cookies.  I’d buy a package of them and ration them out – one at a time, for a special treat.  I’d have to make them last because they were hard to find.

And then.  I was at Central Market in Austin, Texas last June (what a fabulous store).  And I saw it.  Biscoff spread!  WHAT??!!  I quickly put it in my basket.   And I got it home, and I opened it and I stuck a spoon in and tasted it.  HEAVEN!

It’s creamy, sweet but not too sweet, ginger-bready, cinnamon-y.  Sigh.  I checked online and it wasn’t available at any retailers in the Chicago area.  So sad.  But then – a miracle!   I was in Aix, France last October, and I happened upon the Belgian original version, called Speculoos (they call the cookies Speculoos, too.)  So I smuggled that home.  And then, this holiday season, I saw the Biscoff brand of spread at Cost Plus World Market!  I happily bought jars for several food-loving friends, and was still enjoying my own little stash of the stuff.  And then last weekend, I saw a version at Trader Joe’s!  Yes – they have their own brand!

So I had to do taste test, having just a little of my smuggled Speculoos brand left.  The verdict: the Trader Joe’s version is really good – but falls just a tiny bit short on creaminess.  It has a little stiffer texture, but excellent flavor.

So, what do you do with the stuff, besides lick it off a spoon? Following are some of my favorite ways to savor this creamy, ginger-bready delicacy:

* With fruit  – apples, pears, bananas are some of my favorites

* On top of Biscoff cookies!  Yes – cookie spread on top of cookies!  Or graham crackers (the plain kind, not the cinnamon covered kind).  Sugar cookies.  Hell, any cookie, probably.

* Potato chips!  Yes!  The salty, crunchy potato chip with the sweetness of this stuff – a magical little salty-sweet explosion of happiness!

* Ice cream!  I’ve only tried it with vanilla (I’m somewhat of a purist), but I wonder what it would taste like with chocolate ice cream, or pecan or coffee (because Biscoff cookies are so damned good with coffee!)

Since it looks so much like peanut butter, people are tempted to spread it on toast – but I’ve found that only so-so, on the cookie spread scale of deliciousness.  I haven’t baked with it yet – but I’m guessing it would make a ridiculous frosting for a cupcake – or a brownie or blondie.

So, that is my current food obsession that I share with you.  Find some!  Quickly.  And eat it!  It’s good!!

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