Food trend: why we're loving cookie butter

Relatively new to Canada, this sweet spread is a new way to jazz up breakfast and dessert.

Cookie butter on toast

Cookie butter on toast. (Photo, Heather MacMulin.)

You may have noticed a different type of butter in the grocery store, and it’s a bit different from the chocolate-hazelnut and peanut spreads you’re used to. How so? It’s made of — wait for it — cookies!

So what exactly is cookie butter?
Just what it sounds like: This spread — similar in colour and consistency to peanut butter — has a sweet, caramelized flavour that’s similar to gingerbread, with strong notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. It’s primarily made from a combination of ground speculoos cookies and vegetable oils. This European indulgence made its way to North America a few years ago, but has only hit the mainstream recently.

Cookie Butter, Loblaws, $6. (Photo, Heather MacMullin.)

Cookie butter, $6, Loblaws. (Photo, Heather MacMullin.)

Wait, what’s a speculoos cookie?
It’s a crisp, flat, spiced shortcrust cookie that has roots in Belgian, Dutch and German holiday traditions. It’s usually made as part of St. Nicholas Day celebrations in early December, but it can be found in European cafes and grocery stores year-round. Speculoos cookies are a speciality item in Canada but you may find them at a shop that specializes in European foodstuffs — or in a well-stocked international section at your local grocery.

How do I use cookie butter?
While you could eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon (guilty), it’s also a fun way to dress up toast, pancakes and ice cream — using it as you would other popular, sweet spreads.

Where can I find it?
In select grocery stores, often labeled as cookie butter, cookie butter spread or speculoos cookie butter. You can also order the Belgian Lotus brand on Amazon if your stores don’t have it in stock.

Fun fact
It’s also an ice cream flavour! It just hasn’t made it to Canada yet … hint-hint, Ben & Jerry’s.

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