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Biscoff Speculoos Lotus cookies recipe and product review

April 29, 2012

Everyone in Israel knows these caramel cookies , and they can be found in all the convenience stores, but as I read American blogs, it seems these cookies are pretty rare on that side of the world.

Since I love making anything on my own, I’ve tried to find the secret to the Biscoff lotus speculoos cookies on the net, and when that didn’t work, I tried to recreate them from the ingredients.

I don’t know what the American product packaging looks like, but the Israeli one is actually very international and has the ingredients listed in about 10 different languages. I read the Hebrew, then the English, then the Italian, French, German and anything else that was there, and I realized that there was an inconsistency with one of the main ingredients. In English, it says brown sugar, while in a different language it said syrup, and in another language it said caramel.  Aha!

The cookies are called ‘caramel’ cookies, so it would make sense they should have caramel in them. And perhaps that caramel comes in the form of syrup. Aha! Now I just need to find a recipe that uses honey (because honey is like a syrup) and cinnamon, the other flavor ingredient of the famous cookies.

The Google search led me to this recipe, which I adapted and replaced the honey with caramel syrup.

Total Success!
I don’t have a picture of the cookies because we ate them all before I had a chance to photograph them. Either way, they just looked like very tan squares, nothing much until you bite into them.

Homemade Biscoff Speculoos Lotus cookies

Ingredients
For the caramel syrup:
1 cup granulate sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
For the cookies:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup caramel syrup

Instructions
Syrup
In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the sugar until it caramelizes. Don’t let it burn, just allow it to get a nice tan. Once all the sugar crystals have melted, take a 1/3 cup of boiling water, and from a distance, pour it quickly into the pot. The sugar will bubble and spit, and it will be dangerous to be close to the pot while it’s doing that. Wait for the bubbling to subside, and only after that begin to stir the pot to help the caramel dissolve in the water. this might take some time, and if you get tired, or don’t see any change, turn off the flame, cover the pot and let it sit that way over night. The caramel should have dissolved by morning. The end result you are looking for is a thick, honey-like syrup when it cools (while it’s hot, it will be very runny). If it’s too runny even when cooled, boil it a bit longer to evaporate some of the water.

You will use 1/2 of syrup for this recipe, and the rest awesome for many other things. I like to put it in warm milk, with a pinch of cinnamon, for a biscoff-flavored hot drink. It’s also great on oatmeal (with a pinch of cinnamon for a biscoff-flavored breakfast), ice cream, and anything you would normally use honey or chocolate syrup for.

Cookies
Cream together butter, sugar and caramel syrup.

Gradually add in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, and mix until well-combined. If the dough is crumbly, knead the dough just until combined, but don’t knead too much, or you’ll develop gluten and get a very tough cookie. If your syrup was too runny, the dough might be too sticky, so add a bit of flour.

Divide dough into four equal parts.

Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper, to 1/4 inch thickness, and cut with a cookie or ravioli cutter.

Bake at 350ºF until just golden brown but still soft to the touch, about 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool in the pan, or they’ll crumble when you try to lift them. The cookie will harden as they cool.

And now to the product review.

Biscoff lotus cookies spread

Basically, it’s cookies ground up and mixed with saturated oils to form a spread.

Everyone who blogged about this has raved about this product, but I must say I’m a bit disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, this is good stuff and a great idea, but after such great cookies, and such great reviews, I was expecting a much more impressive burst of flavor.

It tastes like the caramel cookies, but is a bit milder, since the cookies have been diluted with oils to make the spread. Also, the oils leave an unpleasant aftertaste and oily feeling. Sadly, this is less than what I was hoping for.

Here are 2 uses for the spread: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/biscoff-oatmeal-cookies/

http://foodcomablog.com/2011/06/biscoff-no-bake-cookies/

And I’m sure you can find more, assuming you can find the spread.

I am mostly disappointed by this product because my homemade version of it is much better.

I have read about this spread about a year and a half ago on The Cupcake Project, but I never expected it to come to Israel. So at the time, I attempted to make my own version, with the help of a recipe from the Romanian cookbook ‘Sanda Marin’. This Romanian cooking bible, as my mother calls it, was written more than a century ago, and has been popular since. For good reason. 

Among many fantastic recipes, I found a recipe for making a spread out of cookies, for frosting a cake or anything you might use a spread for.

I adapted the already easy recipe to the modern kitchen.

Homemade Biscoff speculoons lotus spread

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
300g cookies or cake of your choice
(the original recipe also suggested adding rum to taste)
Food processor

Make sugar syrup by boiling 1/2 cup water and 1/2 granulated sugar, until all the sugar dissolves.

In a food processor, grind the cookies (or cake. Or dried Challa or yeast cake) to a powder. Pour some of the sugar syrup on the cookie powder as you grind, until it forms a spread or dough. Depending on how dry the cookies/cake were to begin with, this will take a different amount of syrup. The spread might be a bit crunchy at first, but if you leave it for a day or two, the sugar crystals will dissolve and the spread will be much creamier.

You can spread it on anything, use it as frosting for cakes and cupcakes, use it like peanut butter on sandwichs or oatmeal, or just eat it with a spoon. A more complicated option is to add it to an ice cream batter and freeze, to make caramel cookies ice cream. If the dough you’ve made is pretty think and not so spreadable, try using it as you would marzipan- shape into balls and decorate, or roll out and decorate a cake with it like sugar dough.

And that reminds me, I want to review another product, one that is only sold in Israel as far as I know.

 

Almond Nuchella

No, not Nutella.

Nuchella. With a ‘ch’, so it would sound more Italian.

This is made by an Israeli company which specializes in almond products, mostly marzipan and almond butter.

When I bought this spread I thought it was going to be a somewhat healthier version of Nutella (mmm… Nutella). I just hoped it wasn’t going to be a cheap knock-off like others I’ve had the non-privilege to taste.

Well, it’s good. Really good.

It also has nothing to do with Nutella, and very little to do with health.

The spread is made mostly of almond butter, with a hint of bitter almond aroma, and some chocolate and hazelnuts thrown in. this doesn’t taste like Nutella at all, but it does taste very good.

Because of all the fats and sugars in this, I can’t bring myself to call it healthy, even if I did buy it at a health food store.

And it’s 4 times more expensive than Nuttela.

I do like the design of their label. It’s decorated with almond tree flowers. And so is their marzipan wrapper:

I hope you can see the similarity of these flowers to the Japanese Sakura. The almond and cherry trees belong to the same family, and their flowers are almost identical. The almond tree isn’t revered in Israel as much as the cherry trees are adored in Japan, but we also have an annual festival to celebrate the end of winter, and a big part of that is the flowering almond tree.

I like this company, and I like their products. All made in Israel.

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From → Cooking

4 Comments
  1. gilad permalink

    great recipe! needs an equal amount of baking powder with the baking soda, for lighter texture. i used plain oil and water (84%+16%) instead of the butter, because the original biscuits don’t contain any butter, and it came out great!

  2. Is it possible to get the mesurements in grams, I’d relly like tu try this recipe put can’t find cups mesurements over here

    • Sure!
      For the caramel syrup:
      200 gr sugar
      80 gr boiling water
      (For this I don’t use a measuring cup, because mine are made of plastic and I’m afraid they’ll melt. I just take a glass cup, fill it with sugar and pour it in the pot. when the burnt sugar is ready, I measure the boiling water in the same glass cup. It’s not an exact measurement, which is why I explain what the end result should look like)
      For the cookies:
      500 gr flour
      1 tsp baking soda
      1 tsp cinnamon
      1/2 tsp salt
      226 gr butter
      170 gr caramel syrup

      Also, a very useful site for measurement conversion: (It has several different calculators for all kinds of baking ingredients)
      http://www.traditionaloven.com/conversions_of_measures/flour_volume_weight.html

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