Biscoff and autumn are a nifty combination

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I’ve sung this song a million times before, but it’s simply inevitable that I feel this way around this time of the year. I can’t help it! I can’t quite hold back the green-eyed monster when all the beautiful orange-hued photos with scarf-wearing people in them begin popping up everywhere. I can’t help wishing that I live in a place where I can take Instagram photos of my boots nestled beneath a mountain of crunchy orange leaves; a place where the breeze is crisp and cool all-day long once the -ber months hit.

Well I could spend all my energies wishing for autumn to magically fall upon this country, but unless I move to a different part of the globe it just will not come true. It’s kind of sad. Autumn is awesome, as I’m sure most of you will agree. For the time being I have to satisfy myself with looking through fall photos on the web, or at the very least baking fall treats in my kitchen. 

In my opinion, nothing quite produces orange-coloured baked goods like pumpkin. (Sweet potato comes at a close second, as this equally yummy recipe proves.) But the thing is, we’re not too big on pumpkin in our desserts over here. Sure we have it occasionally, but after my last can of pumpkin puree months ago my brothers have urged me not to buy another anytime soon. The only pumpkin they want to eat is cooked in coconut milk with other vegetables for dinner.

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Despite that, all the pumpkin desserts I’ve made so far have been well received: the pumpkin tart, the cream cheese-filled muffins, the super yummy pumpkin cake roll, even the coffee-spiked pumpkin breads. But as my brothers have informed me, their favourite was the loaf with the cookie butter swirl.

This recipe is a throwback one from my archives, and frankly it has not made its appearance on the blog because I am unsatisfied with the photos. I had planned to redo this but I haven’t had much time on my hands lately thanks to the events I need to attend. It’s always the case during the latter part of the year because people seem to be in a rush to squeeze in a ton of things before the year ends. But in the spirit of autumn I decided I still needed to talk about how smitten we all were by the Pumpkin-Biscoff Loaf!

Inspired by Nestle Temptations Dutch Speculoos Ice Cream

The other day, some folks from Nestle sent me their new Nestle Temptations Flavours of the World Dutch Speculoos ice cream. A mouthful, I know, but the only three words you really have to remember are ‘Nestle’ and ‘Dutch Speculoos’. And yes, it is as good as it sounds.

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13230790655 d9bd8f09c9 b - Inspired by Nestle Temptations Dutch Speculoos Ice Cream

The whole speculoos cookie butter craze continues to make its way into every household, especially now that the branded spreads that were previously hard to get locally has been made widely available in the Supermarket. And now, we get another way of enjoying it in this ice cream creation by Nestle.

I love the idea of the Nestle Temptations line. It took the flavours that certain countries are known for and created around them. If you’ve ever had any of the flavours in this line, you would know that it’s simply too easy to give in to the temptation of these ice creams. My personal favourite is their French Salted Caramel which was literally loooove at first bite, but they also have Belgian Chocolate Praline, and Italian Coffee Affogato. Now we add the Dutch Speculoos to that list.

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Spiked with cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices, the sweet Dutch Speculoos ice cream captures the cozy flavours of the speculoos cookie butter that make people keep coming back to it. The ice cream is also rippled with cookie butter and cookie chunks just to make sure it satisfies the cravings of even the biggest cookie butter fiends. These chunks are what I always chase after. YUMMMMEH.

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Adding a scoop of this Dutch Speculoos ice cream will elevate the experience of eating even the simplest fare, such as waffles, fruits, or even pan de sal! This is the sort of thing that makes it okay to forget dieting for a moment and embrace a little bit of luxurious indulgence. This is the sort of thing you simply say yes to!

And because I am always looking to recreate things I like eating, the Nestle Dutch Speculoos ice cream inspired me to attempt some Speculoos-flavoured ice cream right here at home!

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I know normal people would just run out to the store right now to buy pints of the Nestle Dutch Speculoos just like my cousin did when I shared a sneak peak Instagram photo for this post, but I guess I’m just too much of a sucker for trying to make homemade versions of everything. Let’s just say I am a firm believer in the saying, ‘Imitation is the best form of flattery‘ when it comes to food. My homemade Speculoos ice cream may not taste like Nestle’s, but I’m just as pleased with the results. The recipe involves only a few ingredients and steps too!

Cookie Butter madness, part 2

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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.

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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.

My first Cookie Butter encounter

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I realize although I am technically a food blogger, I don’t tend to stay on top of the food trend. Sure I hear about some of them inevitably, but it isn’t my attitude to bandwagon. Of course unless it’s something I genuinely like.

My ramen phase is understandable because I have a fierce love for Asian noodle soups and could probably live off them. But I was maybe a few months late in joining the rest of the Manila foodies in experiencing the ramen craze. You haven’t seen me raving or ranting about croughnuts even though the rest of Manila seems to be going crazy over it mostly because I’m neither a croissant nor doughnut lover. Honestly so far I’ve only tasted a tiny piece of Krispy Kreme’s Bavarian-filled croughnuts in all its flaky, multi-layered glory and my verdict is that anything with Bavarian is bound to taste good. I learned my lesson with the bandwagoning thing thanks to Twilight.

Another huge trend I haven’t dipped my fingers into? The Cookie Butter phenomenon. I was surprised to hear that some here in Manila have found a way to get their hands on these bottles of gooey Speculoos since it seems to be an ongoing craze in the US as well.

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