Monday, May 7, 2012

The Speculoos Debate

I've been thinking a lot about Speculoos lately. Did you know it actually has curative powers?? For example, today I realized that I have 2 tests on Tuesday, both of which I have barely studied for. 2 spoonfuls later, my temporary depression cured itself. Amazing! But, and I am writing this post to point this out - not all Speculoos are created equal. So over the last week I have accumulated a small and embarrassing collection of Speculoos to see if anything else could level with my precious Biscoff. The contenders: "Cookie Butter" from Trader Joes and Speculoos from Le Pain Quotidien. The results were disappointing, so I will break it down for you to keep in mind the next time you have a hankering for the spiced "peanut butter", although I'm sure I am alone in this obsession.

Biscoff (Lotus Bakeries): Simply perfect. The texture is Soo smooth in a way that enhanced the spices flavor. The list of ingredients on the back was short and included NO "natural or artificial flavors". In fact, I was surprised to find out that it's all natural, including things like wheat flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, vegetable and canola oil. This is by-far the best of the three, if not the best EVER.

Just spoonful of Biscoff makes the medicine go down...but seriously this is pretty dreamy.

Speculoos (Le Pain Quotidien): Great texture, slightly grainier than Biscoff but in a really good way. Slightly oily though - the oil tends to settle on top if you let the jar rest, similar to what happens in all-natural peanut butters, so you have to stir it often. Since peanuts have their natural oils, it makes sense when the oil separates from the spread; however, because this is made out of cookies, this one has no excuse. The taste was slightly sweet for my palate, and the spices were overpowered because of it. Although it ties with Biscoff in the texture department.

Cookie Butter (Trader Joes): I have to say, I was really hyped up about this - so many blogs have been raving about it, and I recently spotted an article on some news website praising its return after a long hiatus. So I rushed to Trader Joes the first opportunity I could, nearly missing a pole vaulting clinic because of it - and was seriously disappointed. First of all, it's WAY too thick and almost slimy - not creamy at all, but the kind of stuff that gets stuck on the roof of your mouth. The only redeeming quality was that it had small, crunchy bits of what I can assume is cookie mixed in. The flavor itself was just weird - not quite cinnamon, and it had a kind of oily taste, like you could TASTE the oil. The ingredients include a ton of "rapeseed oil" in both the cookies used and the actual composition of the spread. I don't know how it differs from vegetable or canola oil, but I'm pretty sure it's what accounted for the strange taste. Overall, it just tasted cheap. If you can, buy Biscoff instead! I was almost reluctant to use my leftover Cookie Butter in the White-Chocolate Chip Biscoff cookies I made tonight just for the sake of getting rid of it. That's a bad sign. Steer clear if you can, and buy the good stuff!!

The winner, of course, is Biscoff, with the perfect all-around taste and texture combo! Yay! Let me know what you guys think, if you're a speculoos fanatic too, or any opinions. I'd love to hear 'em. :)

Ps: I made some amazing cookies tonight and will make a post about them sometime over the next day or two. I promise you won't be disappointed so stay tuned.

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