I realize although I am technically a food blogger, I don’t tend to stay on top of the food trend. Sure I hear about some of them inevitably, but it isn’t my attitude to bandwagon. Of course unless it’s something I genuinely like.
My ramen phase is understandable because I have a fierce love for Asian noodle soups and could probably live off them. But I was maybe a few months late in joining the rest of the Manila foodies in experiencing the ramen craze. You haven’t seen me raving or ranting about croughnuts even though the rest of Manila seems to be going crazy over it mostly because I’m neither a croissant nor doughnut lover. Honestly so far I’ve only tasted a tiny piece of Krispy Kreme’s Bavarian-filled croughnuts in all its flaky, multi-layered glory and my verdict is that anything with Bavarian is bound to taste good. I learned my lesson with the bandwagoning thing thanks to Twilight.
Another huge trend I haven’t dipped my fingers into? The Cookie Butter phenomenon. I was surprised to hear that some here in Manila have found a way to get their hands on these bottles of gooey Speculoos since it seems to be an ongoing craze in the US as well.
At first I didn’t mind it much. After all, I already knew what Speculoos tastes like. My little brother kept pestering me though, asking me to imagine what out of this world taste Speculoos spread might have since one the best homemade ice creams I’ve made so far features bits of Speculoos in it. He was bothering me because he needed my credit card to pay for a jar of Cookie Butter, because here it was only mostly available online. Eventually my curiosity got the better of me. If absolutely everyone I know is raving about it, is it really that good? But each time I attempted to purchase a jar I was always met with the sold out ribbon. There’s another trend I haven’t grown into as well: online deal shopping. I never seem to catch it within the time limit!
And then one day something magical happened. A high school friend of mine left me a message asking me if I had tried the cookie butter. ‘No, never,’ I told her. ‘It’s crazy how it’s always sold out!’
She said, ‘Would you like some?’
‘Yes please!!!’ I remember right then my mind went crazy with all the possibilities of cookie butter baked goodies.
You see she has an online store called Go Seek Shop and she was carrying cookie butters, both Trader Joe’s and Biscoff. I was ready to order when she left me the message, so it was like a bizarrely amazing twist of fate. ‘I want to send you a couple of bottles so you can try them out. Bake something with them!’ She urged me.
I didn’t need to be told twice.
The Trader Joe Cookie Butter has a pleasant warm taste, spiced with cinnamon, some people have gone so far as to call it Christmas in a bottle. It is literally your favourite gingerbread cookie in spread form. My brothers have been loving it, and have even reprimanded me for using almost half the bottle for making this banana bread!
That is until they got a taste of the bread.
This bread is UUUH-MAZING. Moist and soft, with the sweetness of bananas and the lovely spiciness of the cookie butter complementing each other beautifully. I promised my friend I’d pick an easy recipe so she can try it too, and it doesn’t get any easier than this. No mixers required, no extra muscle required either!
Also it had one of the most fragrant batters I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. The streusel is very much optional, but it adds a nice crunch to the top of the bread. You can probably reduce the amount of sugar a little bit (instead of a full cup use a scant or barely full cup) or remove the streusel altogether, either way I can assure you nobody will complain about the half-empty cookie butter jar after eating this.
If the Speculoos spread becomes a supermarket regular, I’d definitely be making this bread more often.
Makes one 8 x 4-inch loaf
- 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
- ½ cup of your favourite speculoos spread (Cookie Butter, Biscoff, etc.)
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons butter, slightly softened and cut into pieces
- 1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C). Line an 8x4 loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both sides to act as "handles". Grease parchment paper and set aside. *
- 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- 3. In a large bowl, stir together your mashed bananas, speculoos spread, canola oil, egg, vanilla, and sugars.
- 4. Add the dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Don't overmix! Batter will be slightly lumpy. Spread batter into prepared pan.
- 5. In a small bowl, combine all streusel ingredients. Using a fork, cut the butter evenly into the dry ingredients. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the unbaked loaf.
- 6. Bake bread for 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. If the top starts to brown before the bread is done baking, place aluminum foil loosely over the bread and finish baking.
- 7. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Loosen the edges of the pan with a knife and using the parchment "handles" life the bread and remove from the loaf pan. Transfer bread to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.
- * Because my pan is a little smaller, I managed to make an additional two muffins to go with my loaf. Yum! Your batter should only reach about a little over 3/4 of your pan because this bread does rise quite a bit. Filling it all the way through might cause spillage in your oven, so it's best to put some of the batter in muffin cups instead.
Watch out for my next Cookie Butter creation. I still have a full unopened bottle of Crunchy Cookie Butter left and I’ve already got a plan for it! A big hug to Go Seek Shop for furnishing me with my Cookie Butters! Go check out the shop if you live in the Philippines and are looking for a place to buy Cookie Butter or Biscoff spread.