Sunday, October 4, 2015

Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookie Butter - Trader Joe's

Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookie Butter - Trader Joe's
How can you make cookie butter even more trendy? You make it pumpkin pie spiced of course! The brilliant marketing team at Trader Joe's took their ever popular cookie butter and spiced it up for the fall season. After all, everyone loves cookie butter and everyone loves pumpkin spice, so it's gotta be good, right? Let's find out if this is a tasty product, or a seasonal marketing ploy.

All of the cookie butters I've ever purchased from Trader Joe's were in glass jars, so I thought this one would be no different, but when I picked it up it's actually in plastic! I don't really mind the switch up, I'm sure it's more cost effective and it's still recyclable, but I don't understand the sudden change. Why are the other flavors in glass jars and this one in plastic? Trader Joe's usually prides itself on it's anachronistic hipster-y packaging, so the fact that this is plastic makes it feel kind of cheap and gimmicky.

Other than the plastic to glass switch-up, the label is a bit skinnier and it doesn't follow the exact layout as the other cookie butters so it doesn't quite fit in with the line up. The colors have been switched to a garish green and orange combination (to be more pumpkin-y of course), and the label's overall appearance is less refined. It's not terrible, but when compared to normal cookie butter labels, this is the black sheep of the design family.

I opened the jar and removed the safety seal (which tore apart and was a major pain in the butt to remove), and the spread smells spiced and delicious! The aroma reminds me of Pepperidge Farms Gingerbread men! There's a hint of actual squashy pumpkin that's reminiscent of canned pumpkin pie filling, but the overall aroma is more gingerbread than anything else. According to the ingredients there is actual pumpkin powder in here, so many it'll taste more pumpkin-y than it smells.

I scooped up a spoonful and popped it into my mouth. Texturally, it's fantastic! The perfect blend of smooth and creamy while still having a tiny bit of crispy crunch. This is typical for cookie spreads like Speculoos and Biscoff, so it's not new or exclusive to this flavor, but it's still worth mentioning.  After you get over the amazing texture the flavoring sets in. Overall, this could easily be mistaken for a gingerbread spread. We have a lot of spices, a sweet almost molasses-y cookie base, and a cinnamon-heavy finish, but there's this pie filling aftertaste to make this recognizable as pumpkin pie-inspired. It's good, like all cookie butters are, but I don't think it's pumpkin-y enough. If I were blindfolded and I couldn't see how orange this was, I would have thought that this was instantly some kind of gingerbread spread.

It's good, but not obviously pumpkin. That being said, I do enjoy it, and I'm happy I bought it, but this one jar will be enough to tide me over until next Halloween. This isn't something I can see myself running out of and wishing I had more.

How would you use this in recipes and as a topping? I thought of spreading this and pumpkin pie filling on puffed pastry and making flaky pumpkin-pie-cookie-butter twists or a cheesecake, but that's about all I've got. If you have any ideas be sure to share them in the comments below.   
On a Pumpkin Scale of 1-5 (5 being the most pumpkin-y) I’d give this a 4. It's pumpkin spiced cookie butter! Is it over hyped? Yes, but it still tastes great. Thankfully the flavoring is ambiguous enough that you could pass it off as gingerbread spread in the winter months, so it's a flavor that can last longer than pumpkin season, I just don't think anyone out there would ever need more than one jar. 
© Maria Smith
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