Thursday, July 28, 2011

Carrot Cake Cookies

Finally, an exciting new innovation for carrot cake lovers. It's what you've all been clamoring for...a more portable way to enjoy carrot cake while eating it with your hands! And not just any carrot cake, this has spicy-sweet crystallized ginger and tart dried cranberries added to counter the sweetness of the classic cream cheese filling. Fantastic. Disclaimer: this photo shows an overstuffed cookie so you can really see the filling...don't try this at home.

Yield: about 15 “sandwiches”

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely grated carrots (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 teaspoon orange zest

8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.        Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.  Set aside.
2.        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, raisins, candied ginger and orange zest at low speed, then add flour mixture and beat until just combined.
3.        Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.  Position oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 375° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
4.        While dough is chilling, blend cream cheese, honey and vanilla extract in a food processor until smooth.  If frosting seems too soft, refrigerate while cookies are baking.
5.        Drop 1 tablespoon batter per cookie (2 ½ inches apart) on baking sheets and bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are lightly browned and springy to the touch, about 10 to 14 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets on racks 1 minute, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.
6.        Sandwich flat sides of cookies together with a generous tablespoon of cream cheese filling in between. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container with wax paper between layers of cookies.

adapted from Gourmet, April 2004
mixing butter, sugars, egg and vanilla
getting pale and fluffy
grated carrot
Reed's (my favorite brand of crystallized ginger)
crystallized ginger
chopped crystallized ginger
zesting an orange
adding dried cranberries, carrot, ginger and zest

Chopped walnuts are a nice addition if you want
some crunch (I made these nut free for someone who
is allergic and didn't miss them one bit).
adding dry ingredients
dough ready (before putting in the fridge)
dough balls (do not make these larger
than 1 tablespoon--they spread a lot).
cream cheese, honey and vanilla extract
cream cheese filling
baked cookie
cookie with filling on top

Remember to be more conservative or you'll run out of filling
they look a lot like moon pies

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