Monday, 18 February 2013

Lo-Lo cookies

This is my kind of math!
Lo-Lo, or Love Lotus! I read the joyous news on The English Kitchen. The thing known as Biscoff spread, Speculoos spread or Lotus spread is finally available in the UK. When I first started food blogging about a year ago, the US food blogs were ablaze with Biscoff recipes. Biscoff cake, Biscoff cookies, Biscoff ice cream, Biscoff macaroons, Biscoff buns, you name it, they had a recipe for it. I had no idea what this Biscoff thing was, and it seemed to be impossible to get hold of it even on Amazon. So I gave up on Biscoff, telling myself it probably wasn't that good anyways. However, last fall I had to fly to San Francisco for work, and I finally had my chance to get some Biscoff spread. There were quite a bit of other things I also needed to fit into my suitcase, so I only brought one jar of Biscoff with me. 

For a while, the jar was just sitting there on the shelf, as I wasn't sure which of the hundreds of Biscoff recipes I should use it for. So I decided, maybe I'll just taste it, just a little bit, to see what it's like. Maybe that would help. So I dipped in my spoon, and had a lick. Oh my god! My taste buds had an orgasm. So I scooped a bit more into my mouth. And a bit more. What the heck, half a jar would be enough for baking, so I just kept spooning the spread into my mouth. Then I quickly closed the lid and put the jar back in the fridge. Only to be back in a few minutes for another taste. I pushed the jar all the way to the back of the fridge. Over the next few days, I had a spoonful here and there, thinking I could still bake something from the last quarter of a jar. However, very soon there was only a sad little spoonful left at the bottom of the jar. So I took pity on that little leftover dollop, and ate it too. And, as I had no upcoming trips across the pond, I thought that was the end of my very short, but ever so passionate love story with Biscoff. 

That is until a few weeks ago, when I read Marie's post. Lotus spread is available at Waitrose. I did a little happy dance! I live a bit away from the nearest Waitrose. Last Friday, I decided not to get my regular bus home from work, but to get on the bus which would drop me off right next to Waitrose. And I marched in there, and got me two jars of the heavenly goo. And happily walked the 45 minute walk home, thinking of all the amazing things I would bake with my little treasures. However, as soon as I got home, it looked like the jars would suffer a similar fate to my first ever Biscoff. Luckily today, when I was browsing the food blogs I follow, and had a look at this lovely Gooey Butter Cake from Brown Eyed Baker. The little section featuring the "Today a year ago" recipe was for no-bake Biscoff cookies.  And obviously, I couldn't resist. I thought maybe I'll make them in the weekend? But then again, why wait. I was going to clean my apartment today, and finally wash the piles of dishes that someone keeps leaving all around. Filthy little bugger... But no, instead I decided to make a batch of cookies. And after I tasted them, I realised I have to immediately share this little gem with you. 

So if you have never stumbled upon this amazing product, what you need to know is that is a spread made out of cookies. It might sound a bit weird, it sure did to me, but don't knock it until you try it. Biscoff is often compared to peanut butter. Why, I have no idea, as it has nothing to do with peanuts. The texture is pretty close, I guess that's why. Other than that, it's made of Lotus cookies, a cinnamon spicy type of cookie, which apparently is often served on airplanes. The recipe for the no-bake cookies is by Brown Eyed Baker, but it was featured as a guest post on Sugarcrafter. I used it without any modification, except I halved the recipe, because somehow eating half a batch of cookies doesn't sound quite as horrible as eating a whole batch of cookies. Tomorrow, I'm going running. Pinky swear.

No bake Biscoff/Lotus/Speculoos cookies from Sugarcrafter/Brown Eyed Baker (makes about 10 cookies):
3/4 cups caster sugar
1/4 cup milk
56 g (1/4 cup) butter
a pinch of salt
1/3 cup Lotus spread
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup oats

The howto:
Measure the sugar, milk, butter and salt in a pan, bring to a boil, and let boil for one minute. Take the pan off the heat, and add the spread and vanilla. Fold in the oats. Dollop onto parchment paper or a silicone mat to form cookies the size you like. I spooned the dough into cookie cutters to make shapes out of my cookies. Let cool until set, for the impatient cookie monsters out there, this can be expedited by placing the cookies in the fridge. 

The verdict:
Ooh my!! These no bake cookies are super decadent. The sugar-butter-milk mixture together with the spread combines perfectly into a fudge like matrix which hold the chewy oats in place. The spicy flavour of the Lotus spread comes through very well (and ever better once the cookies have cooled completely, a state which only about half of my cookies managed to achieve...). The super rich sweetness is held in check by the dry and chevy oats. These cookies are not only ridiculously good, they are also really quick to prepare, and perfect for that late night sugar craving.

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