When telling one of my work buddies about my 10 days of cookies, she suggested I make carrot cake sandwich cookies. After hearing her description of these, and being a big fan of carrot cake myself I instantly went on a quest to find the perfect recipe. I ended up taking bits and pieces from a few different recipes and making my own version.
When I made these cookies, I of course had to take them to work and have my co-worker buddy test them out... I had to make sure they were up to par, you know! Luckily for me, she loved them. Yay!
One of my other co-workers called these cookies a "carrot cake ball of deliciousness". I thought it was funny, and I like that name much better than "carrot cake cookies".... it's way more fun!
So I'm changing it!
Recipe for: "Carrot Cake Ball of Deliciousness"
You can make these several ways: As a plain ole' cookie. Or a cookie with yummy frosting on top... or you can make a sandwich cookie (i.e "ball of deliciousness") Of course I tried all three, just for fun!
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese softened
1 tbs molasses
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2-3 cups grated carrots (depending on how carrot-y you like them, I added 3 cups)
1 cup chopped walnuts (or nut of your choice-this is also optional)
- Melt butter, and set aside to cool
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the eggs & sugars until fluffy
- add the cream cheese, vanilla, molasses and melted butter to the egg mixer and mix on low until combined
- in a separate bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, soda, powder & salt)
- add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. Add the carrots and nuts (if using) and mix until just combined.
Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes or up to a few days. I made my dough about 3 days before I actually baked it!
Remove dough from fridge and let come to room temp, about 10 minutes or so. Using a cookie scoop (i.e small ice cream scoop) place dough balls about 1-2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 325 until golden around the edges.
Now, if you want to go the frosting route here is my very own super special recipe for maple cinnamon cream cheese frosting that I use on my carrot cake. Man you guys are super duper lucky for getting this recipe. Seriously! This has been a secret until now. And it's no so much about all of the ingredients that go into it, but it's about the process that makes this frosting so good. This is one of the best frosting's we make! At least I think so!
Maple cinnamon cream cheese frosting:
2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
about 3 tbs REAL maple syrup (you have to use the real stuff for this guys, no corn syrup crap!)
3-5 tsp ground cinnamon (the amount depends on how cinnamon-y you want it)
15 to 20 tbs powdered sugar* (approximately 1 cup)
Note: This first step is crucial! If you don't get it right, you'll have lumps of cream cheese and butter in your frosting, and nobody wants that! You also must make sure that your butter and cream cheese is SOFT. Like seriously soft... leave it out on your counter for a few hours (depending on the temperature of your kitchen-you may need to leave it out longer), or if you don't have time for that you can nuke-it in the microwave for a few seconds until it's soft. But be careful NOT to melt the butter you guys... you want soft spreadable butter, not melted! Got it? OK, now you're ready!
- mix the butter in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium for about 2 minutes, then mix on high for a few more minutes or until no lumps remain and mixture is light, fluffy and creamy. Note: mixing time can vary... so just mix until you get that light fluffy texture and no lumps remain.
-then, add the cream cheese and do the same thing... mix until there are no lumps and the butter and cream cheese are well combined, light and fluffy.
Note: during this creaming of the butter and cream cheese you may need to scrape the sides of the bowl several times to make sure everything is getting incorporated. Remember you don't want any lumps!
- now that you've got a fluffy, creamy mixture of butter and cream cheese with no lumps (yay), add the maple syrup and whip until incorporated. You can taste the frosting at this point and determine if you want more maple syrup (honestly, I usually add a bit more-but I always go by taste when making my frosting and never by measurements).
- add the cinnamon
- then add the powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, do not add it all at once. By adding it 1 tablespoon at a time you are allowing the sugar to be well incorporated and also by doing this I find that you always end up using less sugar.
I have seen recipes where people are adding up to 4 cups of sugar... and I really hate frosting that is super duper sweet. And this frosting is not! It is, what I think, just sweet enough. You don't want a nasty overly sweet frosting that overpowers your cookies (or cakes or whatever) What's the point in even having the cookies if you're going to do that? You might as well just make the frosting and eat it by spoon fulls. Seriously. I hate really sweet frosting.
Anyway, as I said earlier, I always go by taste rather than measurement so add a few tablespoons then taste... add a few more, and taste again. Do this until you get the desired sweetness. I rarely add more than 20 tablespoons. Also with this frosting you must remember that you're adding maple syrup as well. This will add a bit of sweetness too.
So there you have it, my special (no longer secret) maple cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
Ball of deliciousness
Plain old cookie
Frosting on top