Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cookie Carnival: Deliciously Soft Inside-Out Carrot Cake Cookies

Now, I've never been a fan of carrots. I actually hate raw carrots (although, I'll eat shredded carrots, but please, no carrot sticks!). But, carrot cake? That's a different story. Carrot cake with rich, creamy, cream cheese icing? I accept! So imagine my excitement that for my first Carnival Cookie recipe, we are making Inside-Out Carrot Cake Cookies... imagine two pieces of carrot cake sandwiching cream cheese icing. And an excuse to break out my new stand up grater? Sounds like a good plan to me. (Here's the round-up for the carrot cake cookies from us Carnival Cookie bakers)

from Gourmet, April 2004

1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coarsely grated carrots (2 medium)
1 scant cup walnuts (3 ounces), chopped
1/2 cup raisins (2 1/2 ounces)
8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup honey

(The cookies hanging out (and cooling down)...waiting to become yummy sandwiches)

What to do:
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter 2 baking sheets.

Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

Beat together butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in carrots, nuts, and raisins at low speed, then add flour mixture and beat until just combined.

Drop 1 1/2 tablespoons batter per cookie 2 inches apart on baking sheets and bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are lightly browned and springy to the touch, 12 to 16 minutes total. Cool cookies on sheets on racks 1 minute, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.

While cookies are baking, blend cream cheese and honey in a food processor until smooth.

Sandwich flat sides of cookies together with a generous tablespoon of cream cheese filling in between.

Results/Comments: These cookies came out better than I expected! At first glance, I thought they would be a bit crunchy or hard, but they were wonderfully soft (I love soft cookies...). The cookies also turned out bigger than I expected and with two of these cookies sandwiching the cream cheese filling, it is quite a decadent treat!

The shredded carrots melted into the cookie batter and the walnuts provided a nice change in texture with a bit of crunch.

The cream cheese was actually a great complement to the cookies -- the cream cheese offered a bit of tangy-ness and offset some of the cookie's sweetness. I used lowfat cream cheese which was still quite creamy and also added some cinnamon to the cream cheese/honey mixture (I was going to add in some nutmeg too but found that I was all out).

I LOVED these cookies, much more than I thought I would. I will definitely make these again. I'm thinking next time I would make them as standalone cookies instead of sandwich cookies with the cream cheese filling as a topping. What a great recipe to start out Cookie Carnival!


The Duo Dishes said...

Oh yes. Do send several dozen of these to Los Angeles. We could use this tasty pick me up.

oysterculture said...

These look evil - are you able to stop after one?

5 Star Foodie said...

Oh, yum! Those look too good!

Teanna said...

Yay! I have these cookies bookmarked and can't wait to make them! They look great!

Maya said...

Delicious and good for you ;)

Tangled Noodle said...

Carrots in cake or cookie form are just about the only way I'll eat them. I love the sound of the honey, cream cheese and cinnamon mixture!

Diana H said...

This would make a nice Easter dessert - so that I can send the leftovers to college with my daughter. What a nice idea.

Mark said...

Fantastic, these look gorgeous!

Food Meister said...

Oh my goodness, I am such a fan of carrot cake (even had it as my wedding cake). I am so ready to try this cookie recipe out!

dänika said...

oh my, these look amazing!

foodhoe said...

That really caught my eye, reminded me of the whoopie pies at a now-closed restaurant. Yipee that I found this, it sounds dare I say even better than those whoopie pies!

Thom said...

I guess I'm going to have to try your inside-out carrot cake cookies. I will pass on the recipe to my wife. Also, I will be following your blog. Best to you and your family!

BBQing Tips From Deep In The Heart Of Oregon

ValleyWriter said...

Funny - I just had a carrot cake craving ( http://pioneervalleyma.blogspot.com/2009/04/mini-carrot-cakes.html ). Wish I'd found your recipe first - this looks fun!

Karen said...

I thought these were super, too! Big and soft and very delicious.

Tami said...

We really liked these cookies, too, but without the filling.

I like the idea of making them for an Easter treat. Yours turned out nice! :)

Timeless Gourmet said...

What a great recipe - I'd take them as a sandwich or stand alone with topping ANYTIME!

Sunshine Mom said...

Those looks so amazing!