We toss shredded carrot with a little brown sugar and let the mixture stand for ten minutes. This tenderizes the shreds-important here because, unlike with an actual carrot cake that bakes for a while, these cook for only 10-12 minutes, not much time for the carrots to cook to softness. Just like Whoopie Pies! Basically a carrot cake in mini form. Perfect for Easter. They almost look like little Easter eggs.
Yield: Serves 17-18 total sandwiches (serving size: 1 cookie sandwich)
Hands-on: 30 Minutes
Total: 50 Minutes
2 cups peeled and shredded carrot (roughly 4 large carrots)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon grated orange rind (roughly one small orange)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
1 large egg
4.5 ounces unbleached or bleached all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese ore regular cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Cover 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
Use a grater or food processor to get your carrots shredded fine.
Combine carrot and 3 tablespoons brown sugar in a bowl; toss to coat. Place carrot mixture in a fine mesh sieve or strainer; let stand to drain for 10 minutes. Discard liquid.
Place 2 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 45 seconds or until melted. Add oil, rind, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and egg; stir with a whisk until well combined.
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, remaining brown sugar (about 1/2 cup), cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and baking soda in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add carrot mixture and butter mixture; stir until just combined. If it seems too watery, add a little more flour a teaspoon at a time. Drop dough the amount of one tablespoon 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets for a total of 28-35 cookies (10-12 per baking sheet).
Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove pans from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
Combine cream cheese, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until fluffy. Add powdered sugar; beat at low speed 1 minute or until well combined (do not overbeat). Spread about 1 tablespoon icing on flat side of 1 cookie; top with another cookie, flat side down. Repeat the procedure with remaining cookies and filling.
Inspired by: Cooking Light Magazine April 2014