Speculoos spread

There’s a small pot of heaven in my fridge at home and its name is Speculoos à tartiner.

Originally from Belgium and the Netherlands, speculoos (or speculaas) biscuits were given to children on St Nicholas’ eve. In England, they appear as the biscuits you get with your coffee in the hairdressers, or in those halcyon days before budget airlines, when you were still given nibbles on shorthaul flights. Caramel brown, spiced with cinnamon, these little Belgian biscuits are irritatingly tiny, just big enough for one mouthful of perfect toffeed sweetness before it’s gone, and all you’re left with is a depressing cup of in-flight tea.

Which is obviously why the lovely folk at Lotus decided to whiz up their speculoos and mix them with volumes of oil I’d rather not think about to create speculoos spread…which brings me back to that pot in my fridge.

The phrase ‘à tartiner’, means literally to spread on bread. I know what you’re thinking  – biscuits spread on bread, that’s the Belgian equivalent of a deep-fried Mars bar, but it is so good, I don’t care about the carbs. And because the biscuits are made with brown sugar and butter, they melt onto toast in a golden caramely mess, clinging to the roof of your mouth like peanut butter and filling it with sweetness and spice. Joy.

But my love affair with this stuff doesn’t stop at toast. Spooned cold straight from the fridge it cures all emotional ills as it slowly dissolves on your tongue, and last night as my housemate and I dipped between the vanilla ice cream and the pot of speculoos I felt like I might have found my new nirvana.

The next stop is cooking with it. I’m thinking molten centres in the middle of the richest chocolate brownies, a layer underneath the topping of a sharp apple crumble to melt and mingle with the tart fruit, or a more sophisticated version of last night’s transgressions – as a ripple through homemade brown bread ice cream. Recipes to come once the new batch arrives in the post.

Which brings me to the downside of all this, you can only buy it online in England. If you’re hopping over the channel, it’s available in almost every supermarket, so stock up  – it keeps forever and you won’t regret the bulk buying. My last two jars have come from a philanthropic friend with a house in Provence, but I feel I can’t trespass on his kindness any longer, so I’ll be buying it here. They even do a crunchy version. Mon dieu.



Filed under Baking, Musings, Recipes, Sweet

18 responses to “Speculoos spread

  1. N.

    Btw, it’s called “Cookie Butter” at Trader Joe’s and the term “speculoos” is used to describe it on the label.

  2. N.

    Hi. I just bought a jar of this at Trader JOe’s. Never had it before but I thought you might like to know.

  3. jenn

    Have you come up with any recipes? We have this product in the US, sold at Trader Joes. It is delish and I want something to do with it, other than dipping chocolate bar pieces in it, spreading it on apple slices, spreading it on waffles, eating it with a spoon…..

    • Hi Jenn,

      I’m afraid I haven’t just yet as my day job has been getting in the way recently (that and a New Year diet!), but if you want an easy one you could try the apple crumble/pie idea – just dollop a few spoonfuls on top of the apple mixture before the crumble top or pastry lid goes on. Should work a treat and be delicious with the apples!

  4. Pingback: A tasty sketch: Speculoos Vs. Nutella « THEFTY

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  6. you have discovered it is stocked in the chain Belgique now I hope? Lots of it :)) you need never be sans speculoos now 🙂

  7. Marya Sultan

    the dutch call it speculaas these biscuits are lovely especially the ones with almond flakes on one side or the thick ones filled with almond paste. Easy to make to. But to have it in a jar sounds delicious, will try it.

  8. Speculoos is sourced and derived from the Dutch word ‘speculaas’ and it is a type or form of biscuit or cookies that we eat on a daily basis as part of our breakfast or snacks.it’s amazing food for every aged person.

  9. Maureen

    ‘Belgique’ do it – that’s the shop I mentioned. There’s one on Tottenham Court Road and one in Crouch HIll. Think there are more but not sure. You’re waistline won’t thank me for that tip….

  10. Truefoodie's Mum

    You also have a couple of jars waiting for you here – a present from Lorna, our friend in Belgium. It’s been hard to keep my hands off them!

  11. Move over Nutella there’s a new kid in town!

    I NEED to try this as I have long used Nutella for emotional healing on a spoon. It looks so good.Your brownies shouldn’t be messed with though. They are sheer perfection!

  12. coxy

    mmmmmmmm i feel it may replace Nutella as my favourite squidgy muffin filling

  13. Maureen

    This stuff is amazing. I can’t help thinking more of my diet should be potted biscuit. It is available in at least one shop in the UK because my fella once came home with a jar of it for me – better than a bunch of flowers any day! I will ask him where and post as this stuff really is too good to miss!

  14. Sounds like the bees knees, I want some now. And I want those brownies x

  15. Kate

    Anything that’s delicious enough to spoon straight from the jar is endorsement enough for me!

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