Indulge in the heavenly blend of Biscoff cookies, graham crackers, cream cheese, and sweetened condensed milk in these no-bake Cookie Butter Bars. A perfect fusion of crunch and creaminess, these bars are a quick, easy-to-make treat that will leave your taste buds dancing!
Ah, Cookie Butter Bars – my go-to comfort snack! It all started during a lazy Sunday afternoon. I was rummaging through my pantry, craving something sweet yet not too heavy, when my eyes fell upon a pack of Biscoff cookies. Nostalgia hit me – these were the cookies I used to trade at school lunches for something chocolaty. But today, they sparked a culinary adventure. I crushed them up, mixed them with other simple ingredients, and voila! The first batch of what would become my signature treat was born. These bars have since become my little secret to winning over friends and family at gatherings, and the first thing my niece asks for whenever she visits!
Why This Cookie Butter Bars Recipe Stand Out
- No-Bake Ease: Say goodbye to preheating ovens and timing worries. These bars come together without any baking.
- Biscoff Bonanza: A treat for Biscoff lovers, these bars use the cookies in three delightful forms – crumbs, drizzled butter, and in the buttercream.
- Time-Saver: From start to finish, these bars are ready in just over two hours, making them perfect for last-minute sweet cravings or unexpected guests.
- Texture Symphony: The crunchy graham and cookie layer combined with the creamy buttercream offers a delightful contrast.
- Versatility: They are customizable for different occasions – drizzle chocolate for extra decadence or top with nuts for added texture.
Ingredients Notes for the “Cookie Butter Bars” Recipe
- Graham Crackers: They form a crunchy base; make sure they are finely crushed for an even layer.
- Biscoff Cookies: The star ingredient! Their unique caramelized taste is irreplaceable.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: Acts as a sweet, creamy binder for the base layer.
- Unsalted Butter: Used in both the base and buttercream, it adds richness. Ensure it’s at room temperature for the buttercream.
- Cream Cheese: Gives the buttercream its creamy, tangy profile. Room temperature cream cheese blends more smoothly.
- Confectioners’ Sugar: Provides the sweetness in the buttercream without the grittiness of regular sugar.
- Vanilla Extract: A splash of vanilla enhances the flavors, adding a subtle aromatic touch.
- Cookie Butter Spread: Optional but highly recommended for an extra layer of Biscoff goodness.
Step-by-Step Guide for “Cookie Butter Bars”
- Preparation: Start by lining an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang for easy removal. This size is ideal for achieving the perfect thickness of the bars.
- Creating the Base: Crush the graham crackers and Biscoff cookies to a fine crumb consistency. This can be done quickly in a food processor. A uniform crumb size ensures a solid, even base. Mix in kosher salt to balance the sweetness.
- Binding the Base: Gently melt unsalted butter with sweetened condensed milk. This mixture acts as the glue that holds the crumbs together. Pour it over the crumbs and mix until well combined. Press this mixture into the baking pan firmly to avoid crumbling when cut.
- Buttercream Time: For the buttercream, whip room temperature butter and cream cheese until fluffy. This step is crucial for a light, airy texture. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, continuing to beat until smooth. Fold in crushed Biscoff cookies for added flavor and texture.
- Assembling: Spread the buttercream evenly over the chilled base. It’s important the base is chilled to prevent the layers from mixing.
- The Final Touch (Optional): If using, melt cookie butter to a drizzling consistency and artfully drizzle over the buttercream. This not only adds flavor but also makes the bars visually appealing.
- Chill and Serve: Let the bars chill for at least 2 hours. This step is crucial for them to set properly and for the flavors to meld together. Slice and serve chilled for the best texture and taste experience.
Storage Options for “Cookie Butter Bars”
- Refrigeration: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. The cool temperature keeps the buttercream firm and the base crunchy.
- Freezing: For longer storage, these bars can be frozen. Wrap individual bars in parchment paper and then store in a freezer-safe bag or container. They can be thawed at room temperature or in the fridge when ready to enjoy.
- Room Temperature: Short term, they can sit out for a couple of hours during serving. However, they soften quickly, so it’s best to keep them chilled.
Variations and Substitutions for “Cookie Butter Bars”
- Chocolate Lovers’ Twist: Swap Biscoff cookies in the base with chocolate cookies and top with a chocolate ganache drizzle.
- Nutty Affair: Add crushed nuts like almonds or pecans to the base for an extra crunch.
- Vegan Adaptation: Use vegan cookies, plant-based butter, and a suitable substitute for condensed milk and cream cheese.
- Gluten-Free Option: Opt for gluten-free graham crackers and cookies.
- Peanut Butter Variation: Replace cookie butter spread with peanut butter for a different flavor profile.
Cookie Butter Bars
- Graham Crackers crushed to crumbs: 204 grams (approximately 1 ½ sleeves)
- Biscoff Cookies crushed to crumbs: 125 grams (approximately half a package)
- Kosher Salt: ¼ teaspoon
- Unsalted Butter cut into cubes: 113 grams
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: 396 grams one 14-ounce can
Biscoff Cream Cheese Buttercream
- Unsalted Butter at room temperature: 113 grams
- Cream Cheese at room temperature: 56 grams (2 ounces)
- Confectioners’ Sugar: 180 grams 1 ½ cups
- Pure Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon
- Biscoff Cookies crushed to crumbs: 31 grams (4 cookies)
Cookie Butter Drizzle (Optional)
- Cookie Butter Spread: 15 grams 1 tablespoon
Preparation of Biscoff Layer
- Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, ensuring a slight overhang for ease of removal. A 9×9 inch pan is also suitable for this recipe.
- Crush graham crackers and Biscoff cookies into fine crumbs using a food processor. Transfer the crumbs to a large mixing bowl and incorporate the kosher salt. Set this mixture aside.
- Melt unsalted butter and sweetened condensed milk together in a small saucepan over low heat. Once the butter has completely melted, remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Pour the melted butter and sweetened condensed milk mixture over the crushed graham crackers and Biscoff cookies. Stir the mixture thoroughly until well combined.
- Press this mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator to chill while preparing the buttercream.
Preparation of Biscoff Cream Cheese Buttercream
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or using a hand-held mixer, beat the room-temperature butter and cream cheese together until well combined, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl periodically during mixing.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract to the butter and cream cheese mixture. Begin mixing on a low speed to incorporate the sugar, then increase to medium-high and continue beating for an additional 3 minutes until the buttercream is smooth and creamy.
- Fold in the crushed Biscoff cookies, mixing for about one minute, or until they are fully integrated into the buttercream.
- Spread this buttercream evenly over the chilled Biscoff layer in the baking pan.
Addition of Cookie Butter Drizzle (Optional)
- Gently warm the cookie butter spread until it reaches a drippable consistency. This can be achieved by heating it in a small saucepan over low heat for less than a minute. If the cookie butter becomes too runny, allow it to cool slightly, which will thicken the consistency.
- Transfer the melted cookie butter into a sandwich bag and snip off a tiny corner of the bag. Use this makeshift piping bag to artfully drizzle the cookie butter over the buttercream layer.
- Refrigerate the assembled Cookie Butter Bars for a minimum of 2 hours to ensure they are adequately set.
- Once chilled, remove the bars from the pan using the overhanging parchment paper and slice them into desired sizes for serving.