Have you had Biscoff spread? It recently came to my attention that several of my friends haven't, and that's a shame.
I've always been especially fond of peanut butter and its various compatriots like almond butter and Nutella, but Biscoff spread may just be the tastiest of all.
As is to be expected, it lacks any redeeming nutritional value, but is as delicious as cookies pureed with canola oil until they achieve the consistency of Jif can be. I've found myself sneaking to the pantry at night, depleting it spoonful by guilty, furtive spoonful.
Along with the addictive sweetness and rich, sticky mouth feel, Biscoff is agreeably flavored with cinnamon and hints of caramel. Though it seems perhaps a bit derivative to make cookies using a butter substitute made of cookies, these flavors lend themselves to baking extremely well.
I like to feature it in all sorts of desserts, but in honor of autumn, I present pumpkin Biscoff oatmeal cookies - a dessert now so dear to my heart I almost invariably have the ingredients on hand.
My passion for pumpkin extends as long as I can recall. As a child, I would hover, covetous and Gollum-like, at the edge of the Thanksgiving buffet table, ever eager for the pumpkin pie.
It lends itself to any number of autumnal dishes, pairing beautifully with warm spices like mace, clove and nutmeg. The shift to October sees so many variations of pumpkin scones, muffins, loaves, lattes and now even martinis, that some degree of pumpkin ennui seems inevitable, but the addition of the Biscoff spread helps to give these a character all their own.
With the familiar squishy squashiness (I mean that in a good way) comfortably embraced in toasty Biscoff, these make for especially thick, chewy, damply-centered cookies and offer up a bouquet of flavors nuanced enough to pique any palate. Puffing with pride fresh from the oven, they resolve into craggy discs of orangey gold.
Perfect by the fire with a cup of coffee, tucked into lunches or nibbling at the counter while they're still warm, these should prove to be a quick and easy family favorite.
Just for fun, I made these vegan.
Biscoff pumpkin oatmeal cookies
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
One of a vegan baker's best friends is the "flax egg."
Freshly ground and mixed with water, flax seeds form a gel with the same consistency and binding power as eggs.
Just grind 1 tablespoons of flax seeds, whisk with 3 tablespoons of water, and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 (heaping) cup Biscoff spread
1 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon ground flax seed and 3 tablespoons water (or 1 egg, for non-vegans)
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup oats
Preheat an oven to 350 F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Cream the Biscoff spread and sugar together in a large bowl until smooth. Mix in the pumpkin. Add the flax gel and vanilla, then beat until smooth.
Stir in the dry ingredients until just blended. Fold in the oats.
Scoop up rounded tablespoons of batter and roll gently between your hands to form spheres. Place these roughly 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are lightly golden.
Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.
Makes 12 large cookies.
GourmetGents is a local cooking blog written by James Pereira and Aaron Peterson of Montoursville.
Comments may be emailed to life@ sungazette.com.