By Vedika Luthra
So far, my encounter with Dutch confection has been a pleasant one. Caramel soaked stroopwafel, poffertjes, appelbeignets, and of course, the world-renowned speculoos cookie, whose origin is a topic of debate between the Dutch and the Belgians.
The ginger-cinnamon creation holds a cherished place in most European cookie jars. It has also been pulverized into a paste, birthing a cookie spread. If one item revolutionized the peanut butter aisle, it’s cookie butter.
At school, I’d often request my German or Dutch friends to bring a jar of cookie butter from home so that I could use it to create unique desserts that deviate slightly from the traditional cookie or brownie.
One such confection was a cheesecake, encrusted with a speculoos cookie base that sealed in a creamy cookie butter interior. This is a sinful dessert that is worth it – and no oven is needed!
- 1/2 cups (200 g) crushed speculoos cookies
- 1/4 cup (55 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tbsp cookie butter
- 1 cup (250 g) cookie butter
- 80 g white chocolate, broken into pieces
- 500 g cream cheese at room temp (you can use half cream cheese and half yogurt)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp gelatin powder (only if using yogurt)
- 1 tbsp water (only if using yogurt)
- Mix together the cookie crumbs, butter and cookie butter until your result resembles the consistency of wet sand.
- Press the mixture on the bottom of an 20 cm tin and about 1 inch up the sides of the tin. Set aside.
- Place 1/2 of the cookie butter in a microwave safe bowl along with the white chocolate.
- Microwave the mixture, stirring after every 20-30 seconds until smooth, about 1.5-2 minutes total. You can alternatively melt over a double boiler.
- Stir in the rest of the cookie butter and the cinnamon.
- Mix in the cream cheese and yogurt (if using) until smooth. Skip to step 8 if you aren’t using yogurt.
- If using yogurt, in a small bowl, stir together the gelatin and water. Place the mixture in the microwave for 15-30 seconds or until the gelatin has dissolved completely.
- Immediately add about 1/4 cup of the cheesecake mixture, a little at a time, to the gelatin, stirring until smooth. It is important to do this immediately as the gelatin will start to set.
- Slowly mix the gelatin mixture into the rest of the cheesecake filling.
- Spread the cheesecake filling atop the crust and garnish with chocolate balls or crushed up cookies.
- Cover the dish with cling-wrap and chill overnight. The longer you wait, the better the texture.
- Run a knife through the edge of the pan before removing from the tin
- Serve chilled.