I’ve always liked to think of myself as an early-adopter. A mover and a shaker. A twister and a shouter. (Is that last one a thing? Uh, it is now.)
But I’ve come to learn that I’m actually, you know, the tardiest of tardy when it comes to a fair amount of shiny new things.
So it won’t surprise you to learn that when I started hearing rumblings about this newfangled thing called Biscoff some months ago, I filed it away into the furthest reaches of my gray matter.
Far far away!
So sure was I that Biscoff would undoubtedly be a mere flash in the pan just like fuel-powered automobiles, pasteurized milk, and the Internet…
Flash forward to modern day and I’m pretty sure I saw Biscoff running for President on my ballot a few weeks ago.
There’s Biscoff up high.
There’s Biscoff down low.
There’s Biscoff to the left.
There’s Biscoff to the right.
There’s a big cloud of dust in my face right now from that Biscoff Bandwagon speeding off into the sunset – I’m going to have to make a jump for it.
For those of you other late adopters out there who may not yet have heard of Biscoff, it’s simply a paste version of the Scandinavian speculoos cookie, and is also referred to as ‘cookie butter’.
I just had to make my own version of this newfangled thing. Which brings us to this Southwestern Cookie Butter!
Southwestern Cookie Butter is a rich, rich blend of goat’s milk cajeta caramel sauce, honey, ground Mexican cinnamon, and pulverized Maria cookies. I like to spread it on toast. I like to swirl it into ice cream. I like to eat it out of the jar while I’m thinking about all sorts of shiny new things like legwarmers and Sony Walkmen.
I also like to bake Southwestern Cookie Butter into delightful cookies for delightful people who are serving this country.
My brother is following in a long family tradition of serving, and he is currently stationed at a training base with a number of classmates and commanding officers. Seventy-six of them, to be exact. And since I don’t believe in eating just one cookie, I buttered, baked, packaged and shipped off 152 Southwestern Cookie Butter Cookies for my brother and company.
I hope they like them. I hope they know that I appreciate their hard work in keeping me and my Southwestern Cookie Butter safe. I hope you’ll make some cookie butter, bake some cookies, and thank a soldier today.
A very special thanks goes out to the M & M Ranch for providing the 12 (and even more!) locally grown eggs I needed to make these cookies.
Southwestern Cookie Butter Cookies
Tips on batching these cookies up and down: The cookie butter recipe listed below yields approximately 3 cups of cookie butter, which will allow you to bake two batches of the cookie recipe listed below. The cookie recipe yields approximately 50 large cookies and, at this size, was about the maximum that my 5-quart KitchenAid stand mixer could handle. Note also that these cookies spread quite a bit while baking so even if you prepare 50 of them, I don’t recommend baking at a rate of more than 6 to a standard half sheet-sized baking sheet.
For the cookie butter:
2 sleeves (7 oz. each) Maria cookies
1/2 c. honey
1 c. cajeta (I love using cajeta in this recipe, but really any caramel sauce can be substituted. Click here for more information on preparing cajeta.)
2 tsp. canela (ground cinnamon may be substituted)
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
For the cookies:
2 c. unsalted butter, softened
2 c. white sugar, granulated
2 c. dark brown sugar, tightly packed
4 large eggs
4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. Southwestern Cookie Butter
2 c. walnuts (shelled halves and pieces)
1/2 c. rolled oats
Preheat oven to 350°.
Spread the walnut pieces in an even layer on a baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
To prepare the cookie butter, place the cookies in the bowl of a food processor fitted in with a steel blade. Maria cookies are quite hard and it’s important to process them first in order to ensure that they are completely pulverized before adding the rest of the ingredients. Once the Maria cookies are ground to a coarse powder, add the honey, cajeta, canela and butter, processing until you have a thick, homogeneous paste. Remove and store in covered (preferably glass) containers refrigerated for up to two weeks. As I mentioned above, this recipe yields approximately 3 cups of cookie butter. Note that this cookie butter will become quite stiff when refrigerated so I opt to allow mine to come to room temperature before baking with it or consuming it.
To prepare the cookies, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs. Beat in flour, soda, and cookie butter. Fold in the cooled walnut pieces and rolled oats, mixing just until you have a uniform dough. Shape cookies into large balls (I actually opted to use a two-tablespoon sized scoop here so my cookies were nice and uniform) and arrange on parchment-lined baking sheets. Although it will require quite a few batches, I strongly recommend not baking more than 6 of these cookies on one standard-sized half sheet pan. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until cookies are golden brown, spread and slightly puffed. Remove and set aside to cool.
YIELD: approximately 48-52 large cookies