Let me tell you a little bit about speculoos and why you should love it if you aren’t already a huge admirerer and then we can talk muffins. Speculoos are Belgian cookies that have a distinctly brown sugar sweet and mildly spiced flavor. My first encounter with them was in a non-traditional cookie form studded with almonds from the Belgian owned Le Pain Quotidien restaurant group. These cookies were perfect. Nutty, sweet, spicey and super thin and cripsy. I loved them.
I next enjoyed them in spreadable form over Belgian style liege waffles at Shaky Alibi. This spreadable cookie butter was irresistable. I can’t really describe it, it is more a magical thing that happens when you spread it over already delicious things like waffles or pancakes or toast. To really understand cookie butter you need to try it. One spoonful and you will be hooked. It is essentially speculoos cookies (biscuits) ground up into a peanut butter like texture. I love it in between two warm chocolate chip cookies or served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The possibilities of cookie butter are endless and their magical effect on the foods they are paired with is spectacular.
Now that I’ve waxed poetic about the glory of cookie butter let’s talk about muffins. I love banana muffins. I love ripe banana flavor and the tenderness it lends to muffins. Rather than make my go to banana muffin recipe, this time I decided to go for the gold and throw in some cookie butter. The result was a super sweet and slightly spiced (gingerbread-y) banana muffin. The speculoos and the banana flavors played nicely together creating a muffins that satisfied my love of banana and my constant desire for cookie butter. Were these muffins rich? Heck yeah so probably don’t make these every day, but definitely throw it into your banana muffin rotation every now and then.
*Trader Joe’s sells Speculoos Cookie Butter and you can also purchase Biscoff spread at some local grocery stores*
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Banana Cookie Butter Muffins
minimally adapted from epicurious.com
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (3/4 cup)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Speculoos Cookie Butter spread
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Line muffin cups with liners.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together bananas, butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in a large bowl until combined well, then fold in flour mixture until flour is just moistened (do not overmix).
Divide batter among lined muffin cups and add approx a tsp of cookie butter on top of each muffin (swirl with a tooth pick if desired). Bake until muffins are puffed and golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer muffins to a rack and cool slightly.