I haven’t posted in a LONG time. This is mostly due to finals. I was underground studying from April 18th- May 16th. I would let you all know how I did this semester but I only have two grades (good so far!) and am impatiently waiting on 3 more . I had one day off that I hoped to devote partially to baking, however my apartment was disgusting and I can’t bake in my kitchen unless it is REALLY CLEAN (thanks for the OCD mom).
I started my work on the 18th, and have barely been home since. I’ve been taking long walks with my Bretty, reuniting with my best friend Tracey and hearing about her trip to Africa (most of her sentences begin with “when I was in Africa…” it’s cute), going to the movies, watching reality television with my girlfriends, and spending time with my mom.
While bored at home yesterday afternoon I started scouring the fridge for some baking inspiration. We had a lot of carrots so I started shredding them, thinking I’d make a carrot cake or something along those lines. I didn’t realize that I shredded WAY too many carrots until after the baking began.
While looking for recipies, I cam across a few for Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies. Since I loved the red velvet ones so much I decided to give these a try:
Recipe adapted from Gourmet:
NOTES: I don’t recommend using pre-shredded carrots. Freshly grated carrots have more moisture which I think is important to the cookie’s final texture. Chilling the dough before baking keeps the cookies from spreading too much in the oven.
3/4 cup golden raisins (2 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 + 3 tablespoons cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup finely grated carrots (2 medium or 4 small)
1 cup walnuts (3 ounces), chopped
8 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Place raisins in a small bowl and add enough hot water to cover. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, then drain thoroughly and pat dry.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, sugars, egg and vanilla until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in carrots, walnuts and raisins (drained!) on low speed.
Add flour mixture and beat just until combined. Set dough in refrigerator to chill for 15-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper (I don’t have Silpats, not yet at least and mommy dearest was out of parchment paper, I sprayed my cookie sheets with Baking PAM and that got the job done).
Working with one baking sheet at a time, drop 1 1/2 Tablespoons of dough per cookie onto baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake each sheet separately, 13-15 minutes or until centers spring back to the touch. Cool on pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, pulse cream cheese and butter in a food processor, scraping down sides with a spatula as needed, until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and pulse until combined. (this was SOOO EASY, and delicious you can use it for anything that requires a cream cheese frosting)
If making ahead, store cookies at room temperature and frosting in refrigerator. ** I put the frosting in the fridge for 20ish minutes just so it would harden a bit and be easier to frost. Frost cookies before serving.
I didn’t want to waste so I searched for another use for shredded carrots and I cam across a lot of breakfast carrot muffins. I improvised and combined a few recipies and came out with a really yummy muffin, everyone had these for breakfast in my house this morning.
Carrot Raisin Muffins with Cinnamon Oat Topping
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup raisins
1/2 chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, optional)
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups grated carrots (peeled first)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and grease muffin pan lightly.
1. Combine flour, sugar, raisins, nuts, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. Stir well.
2. Add carrots, eggs and oil to dry ingredients all at once, stirring just until moistened.
3. For the topping, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Using your fingers, rub the butter and the other ingredients together until you get a crumbly mixture.
Fill the muffin batter into the muffin tin. Top each one with a tablespoon of the topping mixture.
4. Bake for 25-27 minutes until tops spring back when lightly touched.
Since I had a LOT of extra cream cheese frosting, and I hate to waste frosting, I frosted a couple of these muffins:
I have a lot of friends birthdays coming up so hopefully there will be some new baked treats up more frequently in the coming weeks!
xoxo HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!