Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dining In - Chocolate-Covered Crunchy Speculoos Cookie Butter Balls

Vegan Chocolate-Covered Crunchy Cookie Butter Balls - Veega
Crunchy Speculoos Cookie Butter - VegNews

It took me far too long to try cookie butter. I avoided it only because I knew I would fall in love. It is a traditional Dutch and Belgian spiced thin cookie or biscuit that has been turned into a paste known as cookie butter. It is usually available during the holidays at my local Trader Joe's since it has a gingerbread-like flavor. There are no nuts, although the consistency is very similar to peanut butter, and yes it's naturally vegan. Trader Joe's also sells a crunchy version that could work very well in this recipe and now one with mocha mixed in, neither of which I've tried yet. Biscoff is another well known Belgian brand and they also make the original cookies. 

Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter - VeganNutrition Facts for Cookie Butter

Personally I loved the flavor and subtle sweetness. I could easily eat spoonfuls of this stuff and that's dangerous given the nutrition facts (see photo). I enjoyed it even more when combined with chocolate. Though the original recipe called for dark chocolate I opted for dairy-free milk variety and coated them just as I do the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls.

I first spotted this recipe on the VegNews website as the second place winner in a holiday cookie recipe contest. I was intrigued, but it took me a year to make it. This became a holiday gift for relatives. I made a batch and put them in decorated tins with tissue paper. Luckily I had a few opportunities to steal some and it earned a big thumbs up! Here is the recipe. I also found it on this blog with beautiful photography.

1 11 oz. jar of creamy cookie butter (speculoos) - Found at Trader Joe's
1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups rice crisp cereal
12 oz. dairy-free chocolate, melted - You can use more if necessary to give an extra coat

Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Empty jar of cookie butter into a large bowl and add Earth Balance (or other vegan-friendly margarine). Stir together to combine. 

Add in rice crisp cereal. Use your hands to combine cereal with mixture. It may get sticky so try a light coating of water or oil on your hands and mold the dough into small balls (about 2 tablespoons each). Place on cookie sheet. Freeze for about 20 minutes.

A minute or two before you take them out of the freezer melt your chocolate, either in the microwave in 30-second intervals or using a double boiler. 

With two spoons, dip and roll each ball in the chocolate to evenly coat it. Place back on the pan and repeat until you've gone through the whole batch. 

Freeze again for another 20 minutes. Keep stored in freezer or refrigerator until serving. 

Simple as that! Just don't get addicted :)

Speculoos Spread Truffles

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