Banana Biscoff Muffins (Vegan)
Before I dive in to this week’s post, if you didn’t catch the link on the Spontaneous Tomato facebook page earlier this week, I am honored to be this month’s featured interview on the Flavorful World website! My interview is the February edition of Flavorful World’s “F.A.Qs” (Food Adventurer Queries) series. Check out my Q&A about everything from Japanese food to some unexpected results of creating a food blog.
When I visited Belgium and the Netherlands in 2011, my friends who lived there were all raving about Speculoos cookies and Speculoos paste. So much so that they convinced me and Paula to bring one weighty jar of Speculoos paste back with us from the Netherlands to California (along with an embarrassing number of boxes of De Ruijter chocolate sprinkles).
Turns out, we also could have just waited a year for the North American version, Biscoff, to appear on store shelves and food blogs everywhere.
Speculoos are Belgian/Dutch spiced shortbread cookies that taste kind of like gingerbread cookies without the ginger; although– don’t get me wrong– they’re delicious! Speculoos paste, though not the most appetizing title, is the even more delicious spread ostensibly made of ground up Speculoos cookies.
So Speculoos/Biscoff, which has the robust texture of peanut butter and sugar levels to rival Nutella, is in essence like spreadable cookies. You know, cookies that you can spread on cookies, or bagels, or toast. (If you’ve never spotted a jar of Biscoff, you can also find it at Trader Joe’s, where it goes by the matter-of-fact name of “Cookie Butter.”)
Back when we were still carefully rationing out our treasured European souvenir jar of Speculoos, Paula made some amazing Speculoos chocolate chip cookies [check out photos of the cookies and my other birthday fare here], adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies. But our need for rationing the stuff has completely flown out the window since I recently entered a giveaway on Biscoff’s facebook page and unexpectedly won a whole case (8 jars) of the stuff! (Thank you, Biscoff!)
Of course we’ve been giving the jars away– because consuming that many jars of “cookie butter” is just a little bit disgusting– but I also wanted to take advantage of my temporary Biscoff surplus to do some baking. And since Biscoff is (magically!) vegan, I also thought I might as well try my hand at a vegan recipe.
This recipe is adapted from the BEST EVER vegan Chocolate Banana Zucchini Bread from Lauren at One Happy Table. I seriously made that quickbread too many times to count this past summer, but since it’s no longer quite the right season for zucchini anymore, I substituted walnuts and cookie butter! (What?! Those are perfectly good zucchini substitutes… just go with me here for a minute.)
Let me just say, at the risk of sounding like a perverse advertisement, that I think Biscoff is perfect for the baking of vegan sweets because it’s already loaded with two very essential ingredients: oil and sugar. Don’t be grossed out though; you can use this knowledge to your advantage, and adapt recipes around Biscoff by reducing the oil and sugar amounts that the recipes originally call for. I’m always hesitant to pour copious quantities of cooking oil into my cakes or muffins anyway, so by using far less oil and some giant scoops of peanut butter-looking stuff instead, I can feel a little better about what’s going into my baked goods.
Basically I greatly reduced the sugar and canola oil from the original recipe, and– like I said– substituted walnuts and Biscoff for the zucchini. These muffins were banana-chocolately-cookie-flavored perfection.
Print this recipe. (PDF)
Banana Biscoff/Speculoos Muffins (Vegan)
(Adapted from One Happy Table’s Chocolate Banana Zucchini Bread.)
(Makes 12 small muffins)
~ 1½ cups all-purpose flour
~ ½ tsp. baking soda
~ ¼ tsp. baking powder
~ ½ tsp. salt
~ ½ tsp. cinnamon
~ dash of nutmeg
~ 2 large bananas (or 3 small ones), mashed
~ 1 tsp. vanilla
~ ⅓ cup Biscoff/Speculoos/Cookie Butter
~ ¼ cup sugar
~ 3-4 Tbsp. canola oil
~ ¼ cup mini (vegan) chocolate chips, chopped
~ ½ cup walnuts, chopped
How to make it:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with twelve muffin wrappers or grease the tin.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the first six dry ingredients (the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg). Then stir in the chocolate chips.
3. In a medium/large bowl, use an electric hand mixer to cream together the bananas with the vanilla, Biscoff, sugar, and canola oil.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix together until just well-incorporated (adding the walnuts gradually while mixing).
5. Spoon into the muffin tin, and bake for 20-25 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean).
Print this recipe! (PDF)