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What could be better than a moist, spicy, carrot cake slathered with cream cheese frosting? Not much! But what if all that delicious goodness could be held in your hand in the form of a cookie? A portable carrot cake – how perfect! Since carrot cake is my husband’s favorite type of cake and since Father’s Day is this coming weekend, I whipped him up a batch of wholesome carrot cake cookies and sandwiched them together with a rich, not-too-sweet, cream cheese filling. After wrapping them individually in plastic wrap and freezing them, he can now have his “cake” (whenever he wants) and eat it too!

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies
Recipe by Martha Stewart

Ingredients for Cookies:
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots, (about 3 large carrots)
1 cup raisins

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugars and butter; beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until well combined.

2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger; stir to combine. Gradually add flour to butter mixture; mix on a low speed until just blended. Mix in oats, carrots, and raisins. Chill dough in refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour.

3. Using a 1/2-ounce ice-cream scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Transfer to oven, and bake until browned and crisped, rotating pan halfway through baking to ensure even color, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat baking process with remaining dough. Once cooled completely, use an offset spatula to spread about 2 teaspoons of cream-cheese filling onto a cookie. Sandwich together with a second cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Makes about 25 sandwiches

Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, soften cream cheese. Gradually add butter, and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Sift in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla, and stir to combine.

Makes about 2 cups

Linnell’s Notes:
1. To make the cookies more wholesome, I used whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour.
2. Because I like the smaller size of currants, I used them instead of raisins.
3. For a bit more texture and some added nutrients, I added 1 cup of chopped walnuts.
4. Although it is easier to buy a bag of grated carrots, the moisture content and fresh flavor of freshly grated carrots add much to this recipe.
5. I used a smaller ice-cream scoop for the dough and made 72 perfectly round 2 1/2-inch to 3-inch cookies.
6. These cookies spread – allow the specified 2 inches. If cookies seem to be spreading too much, chill the dough a little longer.
7. I doubled the cream cheese frosting which was the perfect amount to fill 36 cookie sandwiches.
8. These cookies absolutely have to be refrigerated! Not only because they have a cream cheese filling, but primarily because they will become too soft and will fall apart easily if left out at room temperature.
9. As mentioned in the introduction, I individually wrapped my sandwiched cookies with plastic wrap, placed them in Ziploc-type plastic bags, and froze them for future cravings.

Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

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