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Speculoos Snowballs

If you haven't had speculoos spread — also known as cookie butter — then may I suggest that you run, don't walk, to the nearest grocery store and get some? Right. Now.

For the uninitiated, speculoos cookie butter is made from a Belgian cookie of the same name, which has a flavor slightly reminiscent of Pepperidge Farm molasses cookies; it's a little bit caramel-y, a little bit gingerbread-ish, and when it's whipped up into a peanut-butter-like substance, it's kinda delish. Like, I could just eat it with a spoon and be perfectly happy.

However, I recently wrote an article about Vegan Treats Bakery and took a ride up to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to visit it in person — one of those times when it's pretty awesome to be a food writer. The owner, Danielle Konya, and her staff, could not have been nicer and they packed me a ton of goodies to take home with me at the end of the day. When they asked me what cookies I might want to try, I asked what was the staff favorite and pretty much every person, hands down, said "Oh, the speculoos cookie, definitely."

They were right, and I couldn't stop thinking about those damn cookies when I got back to DC, so I took myself off to Trader Joe's, bought some cookie butter, and started playing with it. As I looked around at various cookie butter cookie recipes, they tend to require only a handful of ingredients, and they really can easily be made completely vegan; for my version, I also added minced candied ginger, just to amp up that gingery flavor for the holiday season.

Speculoos Snowballs

I used an ice cream scoop to make these cookies into nice little mounds, and they are fairly large, about 2" in diameter and nearly 2" high; you can choose to make smaller mounds and you can also choose to flatten them out slightly. If you do flatten them out, they'll probably bake in less time, so start checking them at about 9 minutes so they don't overbake.

Makes 6 - 8 cookies

3/4 cup speculoos cookie butter 3 teaspoons Ener-G (or other) vegan egg replacer

4 tablespoons water

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon dried ginger

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons minced candied ginger

for the topping:

3 tablespoons white chocolate chips, melted

red and green candy sprinkles (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Put the cookie butter into a large bowl, then whisk the egg replacer and water together in a separate bowl and blend into the cookie butter. Fold in the flour, spices, and candied ginger until well-combined. Scoop into 2-inch mounds and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, two inches apart. Bake for 20 minutes or until the outside of the cookie is set but still slightly soft to the touch on the very top; I'd suggest checking them every few minutes after 12 minutes, just to make sure they don't overbake.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for five minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely. When the cookies are cool, put the melted white chocolate chips in a small bowl and dip the tops of each cookie into the white chocolate so that they are partially coated. Decorate with red and green sprinkles if desired, then chill until set.

Cookies will keep up to a week in an airtight container.

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