When my son was 6 years old, he decided we would need to move immediately and permanently to the Netherlands. We were on a family trip when he discovered Dutch breakfast food. Not only do the Dutch spread chocolate butter onto their morning toast, but they cover that toast with sprinkles! Chocolate breakfast sprinkles! The same kind of sprinkles Americans reserve for topping cupcakes, cookies, and ice cream. My son was convinced. A country brilliant enough to serve sprinkles at breakfast was where he wanted to spend his life. Needless to say, we were unable to make such a move, though we did buy a box of sprinkles to bring back to St. Louis.
They make some very delicious stuff in Europe. When we, in the US, are lucky, some of those items make it to mainstream supermarkets here. I haven’t ever seen breakfast sprinkles on my local grocery shelf but several brands of chocolate butter have been there for years.Then in 2011 another Dutch culinary wonder became available in the US. Biscoff Spread! If you haven’t tried it yet, beware. It is addictive. Though nutritionally empty, it is incredibly delicious and wonderful used in baked goods. Really, who eats cookies for their nutritional value? Biscoff cookies are buttery, brown sugar spice cookies. Put that flavor into a spread with the consistency of peanut butter and you have Biscoff Spread.
Trader Joe’s jumped on the bandwagon with their own version which they call cookie butter. I have baked with both the Biscoff and Trader Joe’s brands and they seem interchangeable. (Not so with the Trader Joe’s chocolate-nut butter which I find doesn’t work at all in baked Nutella recipes.)
This cookie has a crunchy edge and a chewy center. Chewy cookies are great for care packages because they seem to maintain a fresh taste and texture.
The toffee bits add a little crunch as well as flavor. However, for anyone dealing with tree nut allergies, it is important to know that Heath Bar baking bits contain almonds. You can leave out the toffee and this cookie will still be delicious. If you have a little extra time and a candy thermometer, you can easily make your own nut free toffee. I am including a toffee recipe with the cookie recipe below.
I have learned that most cookie batters benefit from chilling. The flavors intensify and the texture improves. This batter can be baked immediately, but the resulting cookie will spread more and be thinner than those pictured. My favorite way to chill and store cookie dough is to scoop the dough into balls and place them, close together but not touching, on a lined baking sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Once the balls are frozen they will not stick to one another. Place the frozen dough balls in a zip lock bag and freeze until needed. When you are ready to bake (or a cookie munching attack occurs) take out the number of cookie balls needed and bake right from the freezer. Add about 2 additional minutes to the baking time.
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- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup cookie butter (Biscoff or Trader Joe’s, crunchy or creamy)
- ⅔ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup toffee bits (Heath or see recipe below)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, cookie butter, and brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
- Gradually add in the oat mixture and mix to combine.
- Stir in the toffee bits.
- For best results, chill/freeze dough 2 hours-over night. Dough can be chilled in the mixing bowl or scooped into heaping tablespoon sized balls on the baking sheet and chilled/frozen.
- When ready to bake, place dough balls at least 2 inches apart on lined baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, until edges begin to brown (centers will still be light).
- Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Homemade Toffee Bits
Adapted minimally from Bakingdom
Makes 1- 9”x13” pan
½ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
• Line a 9”x13” pan with parchment paper.
• In a medium saucepan with attached candy thermometer, add butter, sugar, water, salt, and vanilla extract. Heat on medium high, stirring constantly as the butter is melted and the ingredients are combined.
• Bring to a boil. Continue boiling and stirring gently until candy thermometer reads 298 degrees F.
• Remove from heat and pour into the prepared pan. Spread evenly with a spatula.
• Cool completely.
• For toffee bits: By hand, break toffee into small chunks and place in large zip lock bag. Seal bag and place on cutting board. Use a hammer to break the toffee chunks into small baking bits. Store extra bits in an air-tight container.