Shedding Some Light: Cookie Butter Cheesecake Blondies

I had the shock of a lifetime the other day. I was at the Farmer’s Market, speaking with a customer about the wonders of cookie butter. As I was going on, and on, and on about the pure genius of the substance, I could tell I was losing my new friend. As she started to tilt her head in confusion, I stopped mid-sentence and asked, “Wait, you have tried cookie butter before, right?” She sheepishly smiled, and shook her head.

I almost went into cardiac arrest. 

Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic. But, STILL. COME ON. For those of you (unfortunate souls) who haven’t tried cookie butter, let me lay some knowledge on you real quick. Cookie butter, aka the spread of the Gods, is made from ground speculoos cookies. You can basically equate speculoos cookies to the Belgian (superior) version of the gingersnap. When made into “butter”, it has the consistency of Nutella or peanut butter, and can be spread on literally anything. Originally, Trader Joe’s was one of the only places to pick up a jar. But, because of it’s growth spurt in popularity, cookie butter can now be found in most grocery stores.  While I tend to eat it with a spoon more often than not, I also love to bake with it. Hence, this week’s goodie: Cookie Butter Cheesecake Blondies. …This means you’re going to need a jar…ASAP. In fact, before reading on, go get one. I’m serious. I’ll wait.

Have your jar? Let’s get started then! First, we’ll make the filling. This is super easy, as it involves simply mashing together your softened cream cheese, sugar, and a half teaspoon of vanilla extract. You could use a hand mixer for this, but I didn’t quite feel like the cleaning process was worth it, so I mustered up a little extra elbow grease and went at it with a fork. Definitely worth it.

Up next, the blondie base. The hand mixed, super customizable, and so-easy-your-seven-year-old-could-make-it, blondie base. You’ll simply begin by mixing your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. 

In a separate bowl, combine your melted butter and brown sugar. You’ll want to make sure you’re using slightly cooled butter here, as you don’t want to cook the egg that you’ll be adding next. Along with that egg, by the way, you can stir in the rest of the vanilla, and the spread of the Gods. I mean, cookie butter. The content of those two bowls can be joined together.

Last up, we have some crushed Biscoff cookies. (These are the most famous brand of speculoos cookie, which you should be able to find pretty easy in your local grocery store.) That’s right, as if cookie butter wasn’t delicious enough, we’re adding in the cookie that started it all, just to add a bit of crunch to these otherwise soft and gooey treats.

To assemble the blondies, you’ll be adding half of your batter to an 8×8 pan, that’s been lined with parchment paper. Press the dough into the corners, as it will be thick and won’t travel there by itself. From here, you can place dollops of that cream cheese mix we made earlier, all over the surface. Use a butter knife to swirl the layers together, to ensure for an even coverage of cheesecake. Finish up by applying the last half of the blondie batter, and swirling all three layers together. Personally, I like to make the flavor obvious by adding a few additional crushed Biscoff cookies to the top.

These guys will bake at 350 degrees for a little over a half an hour. Personally, my pan took about 33 minutes, so I would suggest you start checking after 30 minutes. You’ll be looking for a golden brown top that looks a bit crusty. After removing them from the oven, they’ll be very similar to a chocolate chip cookie in the way that they are much too soften to handle. (Come on we’ve all made the sad mistake of grabbing a freshly baked cookie off of the cookie sheet to have it turn into goop in our hands, am I right?!) Be patient, let them cool…a bit. This is the perfect opportunity to experiment with other ways to eat cookie butter…with a spoon, your finger, pretzels, pieces of fruit, etc. 

And, there you go folks, your introduction to one of the best (and unfortunately under-appreciated) substances of the world. Once you grab a jar of this stuff, you’ll never go back. 

Next week, it’s officially time to begin the blissful celebration of Fall…a bit early.

Until then, stay tuned and stay hungry!

Erin 

Cookie Butter Cheesecake Blondies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup flour
  2. ½ teaspoon baking powder
  3. ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  4. ¼ teaspoon salt
  5. 1cup brown sugar
  6. 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract, separated
  9. ¼ cup cookie butter
  10. 8 Biscoff (speculoos) cookies, crushed – plus extras for topping
  11. 4 oz. cream cheese
  12. 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Mix together cream cheese, granulated sugar, and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract, until the mixture is smooth and easily spreadable.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar and butter until uniform.
  6. Add the egg, cookie butter, and vanilla extract.
  7. Slowly incorporate dry ingredient into wet, being careful not to over-mix
  8. Mix in crushed biscoff cookies.
  9. Transfer half of the mixture to the prepared pan, pressing it into the corners and edges.
  10. Scoop dollops of your cream cheese mixture onto the bottom layer. Swirl with a butter knife to slightly incorporate the two layers.
  11. Finish by applying the last half of the blondie mixture to the pan. Use your knife to swirl the layers together again.
  12. Top the blondies with additional crushed biscoff cookies.
  13. Bake for 31-33 minutes, or until the top of the blondies are golden brown, yet soft to the touch.
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