"What is this?"
"Don't go near that. That is some messed up stuff. Cookie butter."
"Wait...what? Cookie butter? Why would you buy us some messed up stuff?"
That would be the exchange between my boyfriend and I after he discovered our first ever jar of cookie butter in the pantry. If you aren't familiar with cookie butter, I'd imagine you are having a similar reaction right now. Totally justifiable.
Have you guys tried cookie butter? Have you heard of it? I'm still grappling with the fact that this stuff actually exists. My first cookie butter experience started at Trader Joe's. I don't know what kind of mood I must have been in on that day, but when I saw a jar labeled "Cookie Butter" on the shelf, I grabbed it.
Upon first inspection I noted that it was made in the Netherlands. Of course. I should have known. Last year at this time I was in the Netherlands for work. I wasn't eating cookie butter, but do you know what I was eating? Chocolate sprinkles for breakfast. Dutch people, I love you, but you guys are insane. The breakfast bar at my hotel had at least five different varieties of chocolate sprinkles to put on your toast. So, of course these people would create something called cookie butter. Butter made from ground up cookies. I bet someone in Amsterdam is eating a cookie butter and chocolate sprinkle sandwich for breakfast right now. It's probably an American who thinks he's gone to heaven.
Anyhow, I finally got said jar of cookie butter home for a taste. Guess what it tastes like? Butter made of cookies. Messed up. Don't crack open a jar of this stuff on the munchies.
That first jar of cookie butter is long gone and I waited quite some time before buying it again. In fact, I waited until I had a recipe idea so that I'd use as much of it up as possible. Better yet, a recipe idea for Christmas cookies. Use it up on something and get it out of the house.
My idea was to sub cookie butter in a peanut butter blondie recipe, and then veganize it. Guess what? It worked out great. Rich, buttery, slightly cinnamony and chocolatey messed up goodness. In fact, these blondies are just as messed up (in the same good way) as the cookie butter that gave birth to their existence. Like I said, get them out of the house.
This time around I didn't make it to Trader Joe's. Fortunately, Wegman's had jars of Speculoos butter, the Belgian version of cookie butter. (Belgians, are you guys crazy too?) Tastewise, I can't tell the difference, so pick your favorite or most readily available messed up cookie butter and make these messed up blondies.
*Note: Like I said, I love Dutch people. I haven't met any Belgians, but I'm sure you guys are great too. Just making sure I haven't offended anyone :)
Cookie Butter Chocolate Chunk Blondies
Adapted from here
Makes about 2 dozen bars
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. non-dairy milk of choice
2 tbsp. ground flax seeds
10 tbsp. vegan margarine, such as Earth Balance
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup smooth cookie butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 10-12 oz. bag vegan chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life chocolate chunks)
Whisk together milk and flax seeds and allow mixture to sit for at least ten minutes. You can prepare the rest of your ingredients in the meantime.
Preheat oven to 325. Spray or grease 9 x 13 baking pan.
In small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat margarine and brown sugar, stirring frequently just until margarine melts. Remove from heat and stir in cookie butter, vanilla and flax seed mixture.
In large mixing bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Add melted butter mixture and mix just until blended. Batter will be very thick. Fold in chocolate chips.
Spread mixture evenly in baking pan. Bake about 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.