“Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”
One of my favorite quotes, from James Matthew Barrie, truly epitomizes my simply delightful friend Jessica, creator of the scrumptious blog, My Baking Heart. Years back when I first began Hot Oven, Warm Heart and joined the Sweet Melissa Sundays baking group, I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Jessica through our weekly correspondence. To this day, I remember how special she made me feel by leaving such thoughtful, kind, elevating comments which I always looked forward to receiving. Upon my return following an extended hiatus from blogging, Jessica reached out to me almost immediately with open arms and it absolutely meant the world. But that’s just Jessica. She’s warm and caring, good-natured and supportive. I’m so lucky to call her my friend, and am overwhelmed with excitement to celebrate her upcoming nuptials! That’s right, Jessica is getting married, and I was granted the opportunity to honor her in a very unique way- a virtual bridal shower.
Organized by the lovely Nikki of Pennies on a Platter, Jessica’s virtual bridal shower is a like an online party, where the guests are a select group of her blogging friends. On October 3rd, each of us will feature a post highlighting a dish that we would bring if everyone could actually get together in person. How neat, right? I was blown away that I was invited to contribute, so I RSVP’d right away, ready to join in on the fun and send best wishes to the bride-to-be!
When it came to selecting my dish, I knew I wanted to bake something sweet, and I decided it was the perfect time to break out two items I was saving for just the right occasion: my Williams Sonoma “Message In A Cookie Cutter” set (a must have for any crazy cookie cutter collector like myself!) and a much coveted jar of Speculoos Cookie Butter Spread (aka Biscoff), which I actually had to go out of state to a Trader Joe’s in CT to get my hands on! I know I’m the last known blogger to gush over the dangerously delectable spread, but I just couldn’t resist jumping on the Biscoff bandwagon. Arguably the Nutella of the new decade, Biscoff can best be described as the ideal amalgamation of peanut butter (in consistency) and cinnamon sugar graham crackers (in flavor). Derived from the much-loved Belgian delicacy, the speculoos cookie, the spread actually has a very interesting back-story. Speculoos cookies are decorative caramelized biscuits traditionally used to celebrate weddings and births (how apropos), commemorate the name day of Saint Nicholas, teach history, and chronicle war in Europe, and they actually make up 20% of all the cookies eaten in Belgium. Already famous overseas, the cookies gained further acclaim when introduced as Biscoff (as in biscuits and coffee) by Lotus Bakeries to North American airline travelers and consumers. So how’d we get from the much-loved spicy crisp cookies to the renowned spread? That’s thanks to the brilliant idea of Els Scheppers, a culinary enthusiast and finalist on the Belgian prime time TV show “De Bedenkers” (The Inventors), who developed a recipe for a creamy spread with the unique taste of the Lotus Speculoos cookies. While she didn’t officially win, she did team up with Lotus to manufacture her creation, and the rest is history. Now Europeans and Americans alike can savor their cookies by the spoonful!
I found a great recipe for homemade Biscoff cookie sandwiches that featured the spread in a luscious, sweet and spicy cream cheese filling. The results were a smashing success: two tender, melt in your mouth, crisp on the outside yet slightly chewy on the inside cookies encasing a light and fluffy, flavor packed buttercream that highlights the best attributes of the silky smooth spread. If you happen to get your hands on a jar, these are a must try!
Homemade Biscoff Sandwich Cookies with Biscoff Cream Cheese Frosting
recipe slightly adapted from Creative Culinary
For the Cookies:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
*I also added 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (*I subbed an equal amount of vanilla bean paste- with which I am officially obsessed!)
- 10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 5 cups confectioners’ sugar, whisked to lighten
- 2/3 cup Biscoff spread
- In a medium bowl add the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and baking soda together. Whisk together thoroughly to combine and aerate. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter together with the sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and mix again.
- With the mixer on slow, add the flour mixture a little bit at a time until the dough is fully combined. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl often.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least half an hour.
- When the dough is thoroughly chilled, preheat the oven to 350F.
- Lightly flour a large surface and roll out the dough to 1/4″ thick as best you can. Using a small biscuit or cookie cutter of your preference, cut as many cookies as you can out of the rolled out dough.
- Combine the leftover dough into a ball again, and roll out again. Only do this once, as reworking the dough too many times will result in tough cookies.
- Bake cookies for roughly 9-10 minutes. Watch the oven very closely after the 7 minute mark. Because of the thinness and high sugar content, the cookies are a lot like caramel and can go from perfect to burnt in a flash.
- Allow to cool. Enjoy as is or make this Biscoff sandwich cookie using the following icing recipe.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the Biscoff spread and beat until thoroughly blended.
A big thank you to both Nikki and Jessica for including me in this special event. Don’t forget to stop by Pennies on a Platter to see the round-up of all the guests’ dishes, and of course, check out My Baking Heart, where you’re always in for a real treat! Congratulations Jessica, I’m wishing you and Chris an extraordinary wedding day and a beautiful future together.