Welcome to Chow with Me, where Chowhound’s executive editor Hana Asbrink shares all of the irresistible things she’s cooking, eating, reading, buying, and more. Today: She finds out the simple and delicious store-bought biscuit beloved by GBBO’s Kim-Joy.
Fans of “The Great British Bake Off” will recognize contestant Kim-Joy Hewlett immediately. The finalist of the 2018 season is hard to miss with her love of bright colors on full display in both her physical appearance and whimsical creations. It’s no surprise Kim-Joy was such a fan favorite, and I was overjoyed to hear she’d be coming out with a cookbook filled with her squee-inducing sweets.
“Baking with Kim-Joy: Cute and Creative Bakes to Make You Smile” delivers on all of those fronts: precious llama cookies with the most intricate royal icing lacework design (see below); an irresistible CATmembert and honey bread wreath waiting to make an appearance on your holiday spread; adorable choux turtles whose cuteness belies thoughtful details like a craquelin top mimicking their shells and a pistachio creme diplomate filling their bellies.
After knowing what you see of Kim-Joy on GBBO and these thoughtful little details within her books pages, it may come as a surprise what her favorite store-bought biscuit (or cookie, to us Americans) is. She clued me in on a recent visit we took to NY Cake, one of the preeminent pastry supply shops here in New York City.
(Can you guess…?)
It’s Biscoff! Yes, those same cookies you get wrapped in plastic (twin-pack!) on the plane. Turns out the shortcrust biscuit and Kim-Joy share a common origin story: Both were born in Belgium.
The lightly spiced cookie, aka, speculoos, is apparently a portmanteau of the words “biscuit” and “coffee” (the recommended pairing), and owes its unique caramel-inflected taste to a special Belgian brown sugar. And in case it sounds familiar, Biscoff also happens to be the inspiration behind cult-favorite Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter, among other similar products (including our own Spiced Cookie Butter recipe).
Next time you’re on a Delta plane, take a closer look at your in-flight snack and know that even ambitious “GBBO”-level bakers like Kim-Joy dote on these reliably addictive biscuits.