Monday, September 10, 2012

Cookie Butter Cream Bars

Remember that Speculoos Cookie Butter I got from Rinnie for last month's Foodie Pen Pals?  Well, how cool is it that I found a recipe to use it in for my Secret Recipe Club assignment!  Two worlds collide! But first, let's discuss these bars.  A sweet, creamy and delicious filling made from cookie butter tops a flaky shortbread crust gently seasoned to mimic the filling.  These are a wonderful treat and made for a lovely dessert.  Madaline and Ernie weren't familiar with cookie butter, but Ernie declared these a win.  There could be a little more flavor intensity from the cookie butter, but it's still a lovely flavor.  And the over all consistency reminded me of pumpkin pie made with a double crust.  These would be an ideal dessert for the holiday season.

So yes, it's Secret Recipe Club time, again.  By now, you probably know what that means.  Each Monday a group of bloggers post a recipe they've made from another blogger's repertoire.  Nobody knows who's featuring their blog until that day and it's a fun chance to visit new blogs and try something different. Visit some of the other bloggers in my group by checking out the blog hop at the bottom of this post.  To learn more about Secret Recipe Club, click here.

This month, I had the pleasure of baking from Everything in the Kitchen Sink.  Sarah hosts this blog and basically only declares it a good cooking day when all her utensils make it into the sink.  I can appreciate this as I wash my dishes by hand as I go and will seemingly spend the entire day cooking and doing dishes.  (Shh, don't tell Dave, but I secretly don't mind doing the dishes after I've cooked or baked up a storm.  It's kind of cathartic to go from clean kitchen to complete disaster to clean kitchen again, with the added bonus of yummy food in the end.)  Sarah has a lot of lovely recipes and I bonded over her step by step instructions that I find so useful with new recipes.  I considered making her Honey Oat Beer Bread (and probably still will), her Orange Carrot Bread, as well as her Blueberry Sour Cream Cake with Cream Cheese Ribbon.  But in the end I settled on this recipe, with a twist.  See, I don't keep Nutella in the house.  I would seriously eat it straight out of the jar.  But, again thanks to Rinnie, I do have a jar of cookie butter.  So I adapted Sarah's Nutella Buttermilk Bars to swap the Nutella for Speculoos and voila!  A delicious, creamy dessert was born.  Of course, I'm certain the Nutella version would be awesome, but I like the idea that this recipe can be adapted with different spreads--peanut butter or almond butter?  Yeah, I think you'll like these no matter how you flavor the filling.

Cookie Butter Cream Bars


1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon butter, divided
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup plus 1 1/2 Tablespoons flour, divided
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons Speculoos
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature (Note: in lieu of buttermilk, add 1 Tablespoon vinegar to a measuring cup and fill with milk to 1 cup mark)
pinch of salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer, cream 1/2 cup butter and powdered sugar until fluffy.

Mix in nutmeg, salt and cinnamon.

In three parts, add 1 cup flour on low speed until fully incorporated.

Turn dough into a greased 8 x 8 inch pan and press into an evenly layer.  Using a fork, poke holes over the crust.

Bake crust at 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes until gently browned.

While the crust bakes, whisk eggs and sugar until frothy.

Melt remaining Tablespoon butter and cool.  Whisk in Speculoos, butter, nutmeg and vanilla.  Continue whisking while sprinkling the flour to avoid clumping.

Whisk in buttermilk.

When crust is finished baking, pour filling over warm crust and return to oven to continue baking, about 30-35 minutes until center is set.

Cool to room temperature then chill until cutting into bars and serving.

Makes 12 bars.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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  1. Looks like a dreamy dessert! Love the cookie spreads! :) Stop by and check out my post if you have a chance for another sweet treat!

  2. Your cookie bars look perfectly delicious!

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my group 'A' SRC entry: Fried Green Tomatoes.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  3. I haven't had the chance to try cookie butter yet, but this dessert will give me the perfect excuse to do so now. Looks yummy.

  4. These look like a really delicious snack.

  5. When I read the title, I was thinking "butter cream" as in "cake icing." This is much more remarkable. Looks very tasty.

    1. Oooh, but now the idea of a speculoos flavored butter cream frosting is dancing in my head--maybe topping off a cupcake?

  6. Looks really yummy. And I wonder why I can't lose weight, I keep running across recipe's I just have to try.

  7. Well I've never ever heard of Speculoos. These bars look amazing. I'm not a big dessert fan, but do love making bar recipes. So nice to find your blog through SRC. Looking forward to getting to know everyone through the exchange.

    1. Bars are always a perfect dessert--usually quick and don't require a lot of equipment.

  8. Oh these look delicious. I've been debating buying some cookie butter and I am right there with you on the Nutella.

  9. That looks outstanding. I have never tasted cookie butter, but am seriously dying to. And I am with you - I din't mind doing the dishes after a full day of kitchen-use - I think the food tastes better knowing that the dishes aren't calling my name LOL. Great job.

  10. You mean that you do something with TJ's Speculoos cookie butter other than eat it right out of the jar?! :)

    1. Well, you *could* do something other than eat it out of the jar.

  11. I tried speculous cookie spread for the first time when I was in New York visiting- its kind of like Biscoff and I looooove Biscoff. This sounds great!

  12. I have never heard of Speculous....these look yummy though!

  13. sorry I'm so late on this, but THANK YOU so much for the kind words and introduction to the SRC! i'm obsessed with cookie butter, such a great twist! added to the reader...