I first heard rumblings of this elusive sweet spread called Speculoos a Tartiner (aka speculoos spread or Biscoff spread) while reading an article about waffle trucks. A-list foodies from David Liebovitz to folks at The Kitchn sing its praises, proclaiming this stuff is pure magic. We’ve kept our eyes peeled and haven’t yet come across it in our wanderings around San Francisco, although I have no doubt whatsoever that it’s coming. [I'm predicting a speculoos spread invasion of the neighborhood hipster coffee shops, high end ice creameries and pop-up dining establishments by year's end.] Have you tried it? Have you been swept up into the frenzy? Please do tell!
So what is it you ask? Think finely ground Belgian speculoos cookies (think gingersnaps) turned into a creamy spread. It’s been compared to a spiced, un-chocolatey cousin of nutella and similarly, it can turn just about anything into an instant dessert. Biscoff, the company that makes the “Lotus” brand of speculoos cookies also makes the spread which has recently become available in the US. In fact, you can buy it on Amazon right now.
But if you have no patience to wait for a delivery, you can take a stab at a homemade version like we did. [Not that we need more sweets, not that we've even tasted the real McCoy, but that's just how we roll.] As luck would have it we found our local supermarket stocked with the “official” Lotus brand cookies and we were off and running, but I would think you could use any crispy gingersnap-type cookie and get a similar result.
Check out the German, vegan food blog Seitan is My Motor (awesome, right?) for a base recipe:
- 150g (or ~5.3 ounces) of speculoos cookies was about 17 individual cookies of the Lotus brand variety
- We omitted the extra sugar because it seemed sweet enough. You be the judge.
- We used melted butter instead of coconut oil, mostly because we didn’t have coconut oil (I think an oil would be way better for the creaminess factor)
- Seitan is My Motor has two versions of the recipe. Version 2 will give you a creamier spread, but check out the addition of extra spices in version 1, especially if you use a more mild cookie.
As advertised, we ended up with a delicious spread that tasted well…. like cookies. I’m not sure what else I could have expected, but there you go. It took all of 5 minutes to make and I guarantee that you’ll feel like one of the “cool kids” when you whip this one up.
PS: In perusing our package of Lotus brand cookies, we saw an advertisement for The Biscoff Coffee Corner where you can sample “coffee the European way” and cookies of course, located in none other than Pier 39 in San Francisco. Maybe they should start selling Belgian waffles topped with Speculoos a Tartiner with that coffee. Just a thought.