Trader Joe’s copycat cookie butter (gluten-free)

Dear Trader Joe’s,

I’m already addicted to your nut butters. I take a daily almond butter dip no matter what, and I don’t understand why you needed to come out with all of the crazy combos that I have to try.

cookie butter

And I guess you came out with a chocolate almond butter, too? Well, that sounds like the devil…. and I can’t wait to pick some up.

The cookie butter jar sits in the pantry, and I stare at it longingly because of the gluten content, and may drool a little while the Pilot spreads it onto toast. Supreme nut butter envy over here.

So what’s a girl to do?

Break her mini chopper attempting to make her own.

cookie butter (2)

100% worth it 🙂


Homemade Cookie Butter

GF, Vegan

cookie butter (3)


-1.5 cups gluten-free gingersnaps, crushed

-2 cups almonds (cashews would be lovely, too), toasted <—a trick I learned from my friend Ashley


-1 t cinnamon

-1 T olive oil

-hefty pinch of sea salt

-1 t vanilla

-Liquid sweetener of choice, if desired. With the cookies, I didn’t think it needed much, so I added a little maple syrup

1.) After the nuts have cooled (about 10 minutes), start to process them in a food processor or the Vitamix. It will take about 10 minutes or so to get a creamy, nut buttery consistency, so try to be patient- it’s worth the wait.

cookie butter

If your food processor starts to feel warm, let it cool down before continuing to process. This is where I failed- patience is not my virtue. [Vitamix tip: if your Vitamix overheats, put the base in the fridge- it will cool it down much faster]

2.) After you have a smooth consistency, add the cookie crumbles, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and sweetener (if you’d like). Blend well.

3.) Transfer to a jar (this would make an amazing little gift!), and eat whatever’s left in the food processor with a giant, goofy smile on your face.

tucson 016


As a waffle, pancake or oatmeal topping

Snack with berries for dipping

On a spoon

What’s your all-time favorite nut butter? Or are you not a fan?

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  1. Julie on December 1, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    My favorites are Barney Butter almond butter and PB&Co’s The Bee’s Knees. I just picked up a jar of the TJ’s Cookie Butter. Sooo good but must try not to eat too much of it! :/

  2. Caroline on December 1, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Speculoos spread does not usually contain nuts (at least not here in The Netherlands!). The Lotus brand is a favorite here and in Belgium and is based off the speculoos cookie baked during the holidays. I eat it year round! It’s delicious and highly addicting! You can get it smooth or crunchy (crunchy has bits of cookie not nuts like in America).

  3. Sarah on December 1, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    We have the same food processor, did you get yours at Costco too? I love that it’s big enough for a big batch of nut butter/soft serve…but doesn’t take over the whole cupboard!

    That nut butter sounds soo good, I wish we had a TJ’s nearby, the closest one is in Santa Fe…which is a 6 hour drive!

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm

      i think we got it at bed bath and beyond, a few years ago

  4. Liz on December 1, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I can’t wait to try this — genius!!!!! Thanks also for the helpful link on roasting/toasting nuts. I’ve been wanting to make a different nut butter but wasn’t sure the best way to get them ready!

  5. Megan on December 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Well go you! I drooled over this when you posted as well, and I didn’t even think to make it despite the fact that we make most things from scratch around here. I’m having an insane aversion to anything with ginger and similar spices, but maybe I could make these with another cookie. So cool!

  6. Jenny@HealthyMOChick on December 1, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Me thinks I’m in heaven 🙂 I love love love gingersnaps! And almond butter…combine the two=heaven!

  7. Rachel on December 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I am literally at my desk eating and apple and some PB…and just had a convo with a coworker about almond butter!

  8. joelle (on a pink typewriter) on December 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    This is amazing! Totally drool-worthy. 🙂

  9. T on December 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Just checking in to say I finally bought a bag of Sunwarrior, after reading about it so much on your site. I love your OpenSky promos! Without them, I definitely wouldn’t have considered Sunwarrior, based on the price. The only problem is, now after trying Sunwarrior, I might not be able to go back to my old brand of protein powder…

  10. Kristen on December 1, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I tried the Cocoa Almond Spread yesterday and OH MY GOODNESS is it divine. So delish. I’ve already had WAY too much. Can’t wait to try the Cookie Butter!

  11. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn on December 1, 2011 at 2:13 pm


  12. Dani on December 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Now I love almond butter and my true love is peanut butter, but something about ground up cookies used as a topping just doesn’t seem right.

    • Emily on December 1, 2011 at 7:19 pm

      Oh man, then you haven’t lived. I’m serious. I was very, very skeptical, but then I opened the jar and stuck my finger in (yeah, no shame), and all was suddenly right with the world. It’s insanely good.

  13. Hillary on December 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I want all of this. Right now.

    I don’t discriminate when it comes to nut butters. Especially Nutella. (It has hazelnuts so it counts, right?!)

    • Anna on December 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm

      You should try Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter! It’s like a healthier, nuttier version of Nutella. It has a lot less sugar than Nutella, I’ve been going through it like crazy.

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm

      i’m the same way.. if it’s nut butter, chances are that i like it

      • Sara on December 1, 2011 at 8:21 pm

        Green & Blacks organic hazelnut/chocolate paste. It is “Food Crack”. It’s practically legend among my clients how I went to England for three months, ate a 500g jar of it every week and gained just under 500g a week ( total gain 5kg in 12 weeks). Hardly noticed it while I was busy and wearing stretchy training clothes (I was doing some fitness training there, believe it or not) but was not a good look when I got home and tried something more fitting…

  14. Anna @ The Guiltless Life on December 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    That’s a great idea! I wonder if I could substitute my own gluten-free ginger cookies instead of the ginger snaps – just because I make mine naturally-sweetened as I’m not so good with white or brown sugar and I’m guessing the packaged ones have some sugar in them. If so this would be PERFECT!

  15. Mary on December 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    OOOOoooo! Your one smart cookie! (hahaha)

    • Mary on December 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      Roasted almond butter, all the way!

  16. mi-an d. on December 1, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    gina, i had bday yesterday!! wish this covered my chocolate cake!!

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2011 at 7:13 pm

      happy belated birthday!

  17. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on December 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I just posted about this yesterday!

    I love it. Love love the flavor of it and also of Biscoff cookies, gingerbread/molasses cookies, vanilla, mmmm, good stuff.

    Great job on the recipe. A money saver I’m sure, too 🙂

  18. Kiran @ on December 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Mmmm.. yum!! I have some ginger snap cookies and I would be making this for sure. No TJ’s in Orlando, but thanks to your recipe 😉

  19. Sara on December 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I am going to make this as a gift, that’s a super idea. I have blown up TWO food processors and a mini-mill by making nut butter and one of them was not a cheapy. I think the thing we both need is a $700 champion ‘juicer’. It can also turn frozen bananas into soft serve and mince sprouted grains into a mush that is good for making bread… I doubt I could swing it for a christmas present this year, but YOU could probably manage it, given your preggy state; it also makes BABY FOOD better than anything else.

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2011 at 7:11 pm

      i think i need it then 😉
      it juices wheatgrass, too!

      • Sara on December 1, 2011 at 8:23 pm

        Yes, actually I believe it may be essential if you really love your baby. 😉

  20. Moni'sMeals on December 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    well done!! I am so excited to try it out. Good one Gina! 🙂

  21. Vanessa @ Swift as Shadows on December 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Crossing my fingers and toes that my Trader Joe’s has Cookie Butter in stock tonight!

  22. Tee @ She Writes, Bites, and Window Shops on December 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I love sunflower and almond butter, but the one I crave the most is good old fashioned peanut butter!

  23. Kristin on December 1, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    how many cups if your mini food processor? I have a 3.5 cup one and i attempted to make almond butter for the first time the other day… it took FOREVER to get creamy!

    • Fitnessista on December 1, 2011 at 7:10 pm

      that’s what i have (or had, haha) too 🙂

  24. Kristin on December 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    ….and it nearly blew up it got so hot…hahha!

  25. Alexa @ Simple Eats on December 1, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    This looks AWESOME! I bet the gingersnaps add such a nice kick!

  26. Lara @ beingLA on December 1, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    OMG, I have to try this recipe! I saw the Cookie Butter in the new product section at TJ’s the other day and was soooooooo tempted to buy it. BUT, I held back knowing that I didn’t want to add to the effects of the rest of my holiday-season dessert splurging. I’m glad I did because now I can try your recipe. Thank you! I can’t wait to try some :).

  27. Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile on December 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    I used to have that chopper and it broke DURING the process of making nut butte one time =/ No good! Lol. This is such an awesome idea though!

  28. Heather @ Bake, Run, Live on December 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I stopped eating peanut butter about 6 months ago. And that isn’t a bad thing, as I have fallen in love with Justin’s nut butters! Especially the chocolate ones! Chocolate almond butter on a banana is good pre-race fuel for me.

  29. Lisa @ Fresh Spinach on December 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    1. I have tons of left over ginger snaps at home from making the crust of my vegan cheesecakes. Now I know what to do with them.
    2. My husband will be out tonight and that’s when I get my craziest in the kitchen.

    I’m sure my husband thanks you in advance for giving me this recipe!

  30. Pam on December 1, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Yum, thanks for such an amazing GF recipe!! I saw the Biscoff and knew I couldn’t try it either. Your recipe looks so much tastier anyway!

  31. Heather @ For the Love of Kale on December 1, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    GINA THE GENIUS. That is your new name.

  32. kristen @ verbs and vignettes on December 1, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    uhhhhh, if i may… as someone who does not have problems with gluten… TJ’s has speculoos butter?!?!?!??? i’m drooling.

    i have biscoff spread from my local grocery store. but on vacation, i tasted the real stuff, brought over from belgium. with crispy cookie bits. and i wish i could have it in my life every, single day.

  33. Laura@mypurposefullife on December 1, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    This post is so funny! I love your letter to Trader Joe’s. Your homemade version of Speculoos spread looks really good. I love all nut butters, but the PB and Co. ones are really delicious and I live in NYC where I want to eat my way through their cafe’s menu. If you’re ever in NYC and want another excuse to eat out…try out their cafe. The only way it could be better is if it had almond, cashew, and macadamia butters.

  34. Alicia on December 1, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    This looks awesome! I just bought the cocoa almond butter, YUM.

  35. Jenn on December 1, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I just picked up a jar of the Cookie Butter from TJ’s earlier this week and O.M.G. so good! I didn’t know what to eat it with so I just dug in with a spoon! Looking forward to spreading it over waffles.

  36. Jenny on December 1, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    I just bought a jar of TJ’s Cookie Butter on Monday. After trying it and absolutely LOVING it, I stopped by again tonight to get three more jars. I was anxious that it would sell out and be gone forever.

  37. Jay on December 2, 2011 at 2:01 am

    Do you have celiac??

  38. Emily L. on December 2, 2011 at 2:06 am

    I have a serious addiction with this! Now I want to try making my own :]

  39. john on December 2, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I have to add to Stephanies comment on Vermont PB. These guys make several almond butter combinations that, along with added protein, are THE best in the world. Justins uses Palm oil and so does everybody else except Vermont PB. They are the new pioneers in this industry. They just started in some WF and are spreading really fast. The next Ben & Jerry’s!!

  40. Casey @ Justin's Nut Butter on December 2, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Okay this is definitely something we need to look into. Look for Justin’s Vanilla Almond butter popping into Whole Foods soon – that one is Gluten Free 😉

    • Fitnessista on December 2, 2011 at 6:43 pm

      YES 🙂

  41. Whitney on December 2, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    I just made this. So good! I added a little more olive oil for a creamier consistency and now I can’t wait to dip some apples in this tomorrow. Question – are you storing yours in the fridge? The TJ’s version says not to so curious about this. Also, I have the 7 cup cuisinart and it worked like a champ.

    • Fitnessista on December 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm

      yep, mine is in the fridge 🙂 so glad you like it!

  42. Alicia on December 3, 2011 at 1:02 am

    Thanks soo much for posting this, my mom and I were staring at this on TJ’s shelf yesterday wishing for a healthier version 😉 you are the best!

  43. Emma on December 3, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I seriously start need to making my own nut butter. I can only watch in envy as I see so many delicious looking nut butters posted on blogs, here in the UK we can pretty much only get peanut butter!

  44. Katie on December 7, 2011 at 12:37 am

    I want some of this cookie butter SO BAD, and the closet trader joe’s to me (over an hour away) didn’t have it and I can’t find it online! I am so bummed :\

  45. Samantha on December 9, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    I tried to make it today and it came out kind out crumbly and gummy, not smooth at all. What could I be doing wrong!?!?

    • Fitnessista on December 9, 2011 at 11:25 pm

      You have to process the almonds for a long time- sometimes 10 minutes or so until it makes almond butter, then add the cookies. I hope it tastes good at least!

  46. MsElaineous on December 14, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    I was begging everyone I knew who had a TJ’s in their city to send me some for Christmas. Then my husband (who is a chef) told me to stop & that he would try to make it. I was hesitant at first because I wasn’t sure he knew exactly what I was trying to describe. Thanks to you, this is no longer a problem! Guess what everyone I know is getting for Christmas!! YAY!

  47. Susie on December 24, 2011 at 11:18 am


  48. Julia Model on December 31, 2011 at 12:45 am

    I made your cookie butter version tonight and did half almonds, half cashews! It was outstanding! I haven’t tried TJ’s cookie butter yet since it’s sold out at every location in SoCal. I go to school in Tucson by the way at the U of A! Loveee your blog 🙂

  49. Sarah @climbinvegan on February 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    This looks amazing! However, I do not think mi-del cookies are vegan- they have eggs in them!

    • Fitnessista on February 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      i eat eggs so nbd

  50. @stampylisa on February 7, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    the Enjoy Life Foods gingersnaps are soft and don’t have eggs I don’t believe.

    my TJ’s has been out of this for a while, but I was excited that the one by me now carries Udis gf breads and buns (my husb is gf and I HATE Making more than one grocery stop in a day)

    Between end of Dec and about 2 wks ago, I polished off an entire jar of the biscoff spread which I imported to IL from FL (Publix carries it) I am addicted to Biscoff after flying Delta every 6 weeks or so since my mom passed away and I had to take care of cleaning out my parents house in FL. i was so bummed on my pm flights cause they only have cookies in the morning. So now I just grab them at walmart.
    I love making my own almond butter, but now TJ’s also has RAW almond butter, and it’s SO easy to mix, that I just mix in my own cinnamon, cardamom and powdered ginger. and a smidge of honey. MMMMMMM

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