Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

I wanted to make a tasty treat for someone who loves carrot cake, but I didn't actually want to make cake. I decided pretty quickly that I wanted to make carrot cake sandwich cookies, but I was nervous to create my own. Martha Stewart recipes aren't something I normally seek out, but hers happened to be exactly what I had in mind. Since I didn't need 25 sandwich cookies, I cut the recipe in half, but you could easily double what I did to get more. My cookies were slightly large and thus I yielded less cookies. I love larger cookies b/c it gives room to have the edges become crisp with the middle still being soft and chewy. That is exactly how these turned out. Perfect! If you don't feel like making the frosting, there is really no need. The cookies are great on their own. I have to say though, the cream cheese frosting really pushes them over the top.

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies
How I Did It:

(makes 6-8 sandwich cookies)

For the cookies:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 cup, minus 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1/2 cup, plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup oats
1 cup baking raisins (or pre-soaked raisins)
1 cup grated carrots

For the frosting:
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
4 oz (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla

1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and powder, salt, and spices. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine sugars and butter and beat until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the egg and beat until combined and then add the vanilla and beat until well combined.

3. Beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture in three parts. Beat until just blended.

4. Stir in oats, raisins, and carrots making sure they are well distributed.

5. Cover well and leave in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but preferably several hours.

6. Preheat oven to 350 and line your baking sheet with Silpat mats or parchment paper. Scoop rounded ice cream scoop sized balls of dough onto your cookie sheet, making sure they are at least 2 inches apart. It will be helpful later if you make them as uniform as possible. Bake for 12 minutes or until the edges are crisped and the center is almost set. Let sit on sheets for two minutes and then continue to cool on a cooling rack.

7. While the cookies are cooling make the frosting. Combine cream cheese and butter in a bowl and beat until smooth and well blended and slightly peaked. Add in powdered sugar and beat until smooth and then beat in the vanilla. Pop in the fridge for a couple of minutes to firm it up (but not too long) to help lessen the amount that escapes out from between the cookies (think ice cream sandwich).

8. Once the cookies are completely cool spread desired amount of frosting on the underside of one cookie and then place the bottom of another cookie on top of it. Repeat for remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Note: The cookies themselves are at their best texture when served immediately. Crunchy edges and soft, moist middles.  They are still great though for a couple days and the frosting inside firms up making them easier to eat.

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