Well, two of my younger brothers have officially converted into cookie butter lovers! And while I remain to be a solid peanut butter girl, I can’t deny I’ve rather enjoyed baking with cookie butter. It just has the most amazing smell once it is added to the batter, and I would keep making speculoos treats if only to get a whiff of that mouth-watering scent.
Ironically I had given up on getting my hands on any Speculoos spread because of how popular they are right now, making them always sold out wherever I look. My passing curiosity wasn’t enough to fuel any sort of persistence on my part to keep searching for a source, so I kind of just forgot about it. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t even like to wait in line in restaurants unless it’s a restaurant I really really like or really really want to try. Funny how it’s a gigantic contradiction to my attitude when it comes to accomplishing things I set my mind to. Or I guess I just never thought about cookie spreads as something I’ll never be at peace without.
Yet thanks to my friend Sherly from Go Seek Shop, I got the chance to try both the creamy and crunchy Cookie Butters. In the end, I discovered how wonderful they are to bake with! I previously made this amazing banana bread variation by adding in the warm flavours of creamy Cookie Butter. It smelled like heaven, I tell ya! And the taste was no less divine! These sweet bars today are my second foray into baking with Cookie Butter, this time with the crunchy version.
Frankly I don’t feel much difference between the creamy and crunchy version aside from the very small pieces of solid cookies very sparingly included. I had anticipated there to be more so that my bars would have a surprise crunch inside but hey, I ain’t complaining especially with how these bars turned out.
The bars looked a bit different fresh from the oven. I couldn’t resist cutting into them as soon as they were cool enough to handle but still a little warm inside. Ooey-gooey is the only way to describe them warm.
I took the above photo in the evening with our yellow dining room light so the colour looks a bit different from the other photos on this post. I wanted to see how the texture would differ once the bars have fully set. After spending a night atop the dining table, the bars were firmer to the bite with a more pronounced crust on top– a little less gooey but still very chewy. Sweet but with the light notes of gingerbread flavour, these bars are quite enjoyable to munch on. At the bottom is a buttery crust, and on the top is a chewy and moist cookie butter and brown sugar-based body.
Can you already imagine how yummy this is?
Cookie Butter-Brown Sugar Bars
Makes one 8x8-inch pan
For the crust
- 1 stick, 4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch salt
For the filling
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cups packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup Cookie Butter spread, or other Speculoos spread
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
Make the crust
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C). Line an 8x8-inch* baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- 2. In a large bowl, using a whisk or an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar, flour, and salt until mixture is well combined and moistened. Using a spatula, spread the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish.
- 3. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Let cool.
Make the filling
- 4. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the eggs, sugar, cookie spread, and flour until well-combined and smooth.
- 5. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust and bake for 30 minutes, or until the middle is just set but still a bit jiggly. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into even-sized bars to serve.
- Storage: Bars can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored at room temperature in an airtight container.