I’ve tried Trader Joe’s particular brand of Speculoos Cookie Butter in the past, and licking a small bite off of somebody else’s spoon had already seemed decadent enough. Yet as they greeted me walking the door, nestled in a rustic basket, backed by rows of flowering orchids, I rationalized to myself, well, I’m in need of peanut butter anyway, and grabbed a jar. They beckoned, and I relented.
Now she sits on the second shelf in my pantry, glistening and heavy. I read the ingredient list and felt a bit perturbed: ginger cookies made from processed flours and canola, ground up and mixed in with a variety of hydrogenated oils and sugars. This was nutritional doom in a can. Oh, the Dutch, they do have a way with sweets.
I have to say, though, that even with the humorous packaging and infallible combination of sugar and salt and fat, I was just the tab bit disappointed. The flavor profile was good, rich, spicy, and the fine grit of cookie was appreciated, but something about the texture, a thick, frictional gunk that did not do well anywhere but on the back of a spoon, was off-putting. If I’m going to eat something so cloyingly sweet and rich, I want the option of not feasting by the spoonful. I want to diffuse it into bread, melt it onto ice cream; I want to edit it into my diet, not have it take over.
Now, in no way am I suggesting that this stuff isn’t delicious. It is, as evidenced by the way it is disappearing from the jar. But it is delicious in the same way as perhaps, condensed milk, or pecan pie: dangerous, not particularly useful, and best washed down with a glass of cold milk.