This is not the post I planned to write. My plan was to write a post singing the glories of cookie butter and chardonnay. That post will come, just not today. Today is the day for cookie butter cookies and Riesling.
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Have you tried cookie butter? It’s become quite prevalent now (or maybe it always was and I just never noticed) in grocery stores around Houston, but the first time I was introduced to it was the Trader Joe’s brand, and that will always be my favorite. For those who haven’t had this glorious substance, cookie butter is made from speculoos cookies. Trader Joe’s describes it as heaven on earth. I’m just kidding. The official description is “spreadable Speculoos cookies” with “a slightly caramelized, almost-but-not-quite-gingerbread flavor.” There are a few kinds- smooth, crunchy, and with chocolate as well as a whole slew of treats made with cookies butter. My favorite is crunchy by the spoonful. I love that little bit of cookie crunch. Yes, I have a problem. No, I’m not ashamed.
It has taken me awhile to make a dessert using cookie butter because I open a jar thinking I’ll just have a spoonful for inspiration, and before you know it the jar is gone. It doesn’t help that I live with my sister, who loves cookie butter as much as I do.
Despite the many obstacles to making a cookie butter dessert, I finally found and executed one that’s pretty good. I used the No Bake Speculoos Oatmeal Cookie recipe from Sweet C’s Designs and it turned out pretty well. Since they’re no bake, the cookies have a gooey texture, no crunch to speak of. They might also be good with some pecans or almonds inside. The cookies are rather sweet, with a flavor almost like a praline, so one is enough to satisfy any sweet tooth. The cookie butter is more of a whisper than the standout ingredient. The cookies are really gooey, so I do recommend eating them with a napkin nearby!
As I mentioned earlier, I intended to pair a cookie butter dessert with chardonnay. It’s okay with these cookies, but it just doesn’t sing like pure cookie butter and chardonnay. I think this is because the cookie butter wasn’t the main flavor, so the cookies couldn’t bring out the apple flavors in the chardonnay. Chardonnay works well with spice desserts, like gingerbread, spice cake, and carrot cake- which explains why it goes well with cookie butter by itself. Add a bunch of sugar and you throw everything off.
Since I couldn’t use the chardonnay, I opted to try a dry Riesling, specifically the Chateau Ste. Michelle dry riesling. Before I found this wine at the store, I thought Riesling was Riesling- crisp, refreshing, and sweet. Little did I know, dry Riesling is more popular in Germany than sweet Riesling. It is a highly acidic wine, still slightly sweet but not as much as a sweet Riesling.
The wine and cookie combination was delicious! The cookies tamed the acidity in the wine while the wine helped balance the sweetness of the cookies. This is a common tactic in cooking- when a dish is too sweet, you add a little acid and vice versa. A sweeter wine with the cookies would have been sickly sweet, even for someone with an insatiable sweet tooth like me. The dry Riesling suppressed the sugar just enough to let the other cookie flavors (vanilla and cookie butter) shine.
I’m actually glad the chardonnay didn’t work out because it led me to this new, delicious combination. While I don’t love the wine by itself (nothing against the wine, I just usually prefer bold reds or sweet whites; not dry, acidic whites), I really enjoyed it with the cookies!