carrot cake sandwich cookies

At long last, here is a post presented in a timely manner – I baked a batch of these yesterday and shared them with friends for dinner.  These cookies were quite good – moist and cake-like with a slightly sweet cream cheese filling.  My cookies were somewhat less than exactly round-shaped, but we found that this in no way detracted from our enjoyment of them.  They were scrumptious – the four of us managed to almost polish off the entire batch in one night.  The few that remained at the end of the evening were left at our friends’ new home for them to enjoy.

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

Adapted from Gourmet, April 2004

Yields 12 cookie sandwiches (24 cookies)

Ingredients

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 + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coarsely grated carrots (2-3 medium)
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
fresh grated nutmeg

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Place chopped walnuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet or cake pan.  Toast for approximately 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from oven and cool.
  2. Increase oven heat to 375 degrees F, with racks in upper and lower thirds.  Line 2 pans with parchment paper or butter them to prevent sticking.
  3. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
  4. Beat together butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl with electric mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes.  Mix in carrots, nuts, and raisins (I switched to a spoon/spatula here), then add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  You may want to stop here and refrigerate the batter for at least 30 minutes to reduce cookie spreading while baking.
  5. Drop 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter per cookie 2 inches apart on baking sheets and bake, switching positions of sheets halfway through baking.  Cookies should bake approximately 12-16 minutes, until they are lightly browned, springy to touch, and a toothpick poked into a test cookie comes out clean.  Cool cookies on sheets for 1 minute, then transfer to racks to cool completely (if you lack a cooking rack, you can use a broiler pan, like me).
  6. While cookies are baking, blend cream cheese, honey, cardamom, scant grated nutmeg, and powdered sugar with electric mixer until smooth.  Or, you can do this around the same time as step #4, and transfer the cream cheese filling to the fridge for about 30 minutes until it sets up a bit.
  7. Assemble sandwich cookies with approximately 1 tablespoon of filling between 2 cookies (less or more depending on the size of your cookies).  Serve immediately or refrigerate until served.  Best if served same day.
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