Guilty Pleasure in a Jar: Biscoff Spread

The Guilty Pleasure: Biscoff Spread Where to Get It: Trader Joe's, Fresh & Easy, or WinCo Foods Price: $3.50-$4.50 What It Really Costs: 90 calories a tablespoon; same as peanut butter without any redeeming nutritional value. (serving size 1 tablespoon? Yeah, right!)

There it was, innocently sitting on the shelf at Fresh & Easy, right next to the Nutella. I found out about it a year and a half prior through David Lebovitz's blog. The post called it by its French name, Speculoos à Tartiner: "Speculoos Spread". It's known as Biscoff Spread pretty much everywhere else in the world. And I knew it had to be mine.

What is this Biscoff Spread I'm talking about? Simple: It's a spread made from Biscoff cookies. OK, that didn't clear up things much. Biscoff cookies are a popular brand of speculoos, spiced brown sugar cookies from the Netherlands. They have a rich caramelized taste with more than a hint of warm spice. Some Belgians who make these cookies had the clever idea to turn some into a spread with the consistency of peanut butter. Whoever had this idea should be sainted, or knighted, or at least be given the adoration we give A-list celebrities. There is zero nutritional value to Biscoff Spread (Nutella at least has hazelnuts and milk), but when it's so good, who cares?

If you've had Nutella, the Italian chocolate-hazelnut spread, know that Biscoff spread is considerably more delicious. Yes, more delicious than Nutella. It's terrific on all kinds of things. Baguettes, croissants, pretzels, bagels, apples, tortillas, you name it. What makes it so much of a guilty pleasure is that my favorite application is to sneak it by the spoonful directly from the jar. It's hard to say whether I like it so much right out of the jar because it's just plain delicious (which it certainly is), or if it seems even more delicious because I feel like I'm doing something naughty.

Biscoff Spread comes in both smooth and crunchy varieties. I find the smooth vastly preferable. The crunchy with little cookie bits mixed in sounds great, but the texture is reminiscent of muddy gravel. In my travels I've seen it at Fresh & Easy and WinCo, but it may have infiltrated other grocers by now. Trader Joe's also has its own Speculoos Cookie Butter that costs less and is equally delectable, and disappears from their shelves practically in the blink of an eye.

Have you had a chance to try this delectable spread yet? I feel like I might be missing some golden opportunities to try it on other things, what's your favorite to spread it on?

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