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Homemade Trader Joe's Cookie Butter

Cookie butter
cookie butter spreadShutterstock

Chef notes

If you’ve ever stared sadly at the empty shelf where the cookie butter used to be at Trader Joe’s (before everyone snatched it up), you’re not alone, and we’re about to fix that problem once and for all.

Known as speculoos in Belgium, where the blended cookie spread concept originated as a waffle topping, this is one dessert trend we can get on board with — especially when you can make it yourself in about five minutes.

You’re in control here: Choose your favorite cookie and make small batches, big batches, enough to fill a case of jars for the world’s greatest holiday presents, or as a creative way to spin the influx of holiday cookies into not one dessert, but two!

Sure, you can go even more homemade and make your cookies from scratch for this super addictive confection, but here's the easiest version with the least amount of ingredients so you can get to dipping, spreading and drizzling this sweet, customizable stuff on whatever strikes your fancy as soon as possible.

A few tips on choosing cookies:

The best cookies for cookie butter are the ones that crumble the most easily. Fig Newtons and chewy peanut butter cookies, for instance, are not good candidates for cookie butter. Snickerdoodles, pecan sandies, gingersnaps and sugar cookies are.

You may be tempted to try this trick with Oreos — resist the urge. The filling tends to melt, separate and add a runny consistency to the final product.

Cookies with “chunks” (oatmeal, chocolate chips, nuts) can be blended into a “chunky-style” cookie butter with a crunchy textural contrast that’s particularly good on ice cream.

A note on the measurements: Cookies weigh different amounts because they vary widely in density. If you can't measure/approximate 8 ounces based on what is listed on the packaging, you can try to wing it by starting with 1/3 of the pack of cookies and adjust the other ingredients as you go, but it's best to do this with the correct measurements to ensure the right consistency and balance of flavor.


  • 8 ounces cookies, sealed in a sturdy zip-top bag
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar


DIY Trader Joe's cookie butter

Crush the cookies into coarse granules (it’s okay if there are some larger pieces), then transfer to a food processor (or blender) and pulse until you have a fine powder. (Crushing them beforehand makes the blending easier.)

Slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil, then add the water and blend until a paste forms. Add the powdered sugar gradually (by the tablespoon, if you like), scraping down the sides of the blender every so often to make sure it all incorporates. Add more water as necessary until desired consistency is reached — you want it to be spreadable.

Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. (Cookie butter will keep, refrigerated, for up to a week.) 

Go ahead and enjoy it on pancakes, waffles, ice cream, crackers, celery or (practically) anything else!

Jess Kapadia is a senior editor for Food Republic. Follow her on Twitter here.