If you are a fellow food blogger, you might consider joining the Secret Recipe Club (SRC). Once a month, members of the club are randomly (and secretly) assigned to each other. Bloggers look at their assigned blog, choose a recipe, and blog about it themselves. On the "reveal date" bloggers publish their post, disclosing whose blog they were assigned to and what they decided to make. Last month was my first time to participate. I made Lavender Truffles from The Novice Housewife and the response from other SRC members was amazing. Right now I'm at 32 comments for that post...the most I've ever had by a long shot.
In my 13 months of blogging, I've realized that the community of food bloggers is comprised of positive, affirming people who will usually go out of their way to share encouragement and enthusiasm. SRC members definitely fit this description.
This month I was assigned to the blog PheMOMenon. From what I can tell, the author, Holly, really is a phenomenal mom. She's got two handsome school-age boys and a precious baby girl, Kayla. Kayla was born in February of 2010 with Downs Syndrome; she has some ongoing health struggles, bless her darling little heart. Holly is a very busy mommy as she lovingly takes care of her family. She is a fellow Francophile and LOVES Dorie Greenspan (me, too!). Take a look at her blog to see her "Tuesdays with Dorrie" posts and her "French Fridays with Dorrie" posts. This girl has got her French cooking/baking down pat!
Holly has another blog (Sweet and Simple) where I found this quote of hers, confirming that we have also quite a bit in common in the (un)social department: "Something you probably don't know - and may not believe - about me is that I have to work very, very hard to be outgoing. Most of the time it feels completely unnatural and forced to me, which often makes me feel like I'm completely, socially inept." I could have written that about myself; I feel a real connection with this Holly gal. :)
In addition to the yummy food, Holly also has recipes on her blog for home spa products like Vanilla Citrus Sugar Body Scrub and Coconut Body Whip. Hello, homemade Christmas gifts!
I chose to make the Inside-Out Carrot Cake Cookies from her blog. She found the recipe at Epicurious, and boy was I ever curious when I saw the photo! I tweaked the recipe a teensy bit (borrowing some ideas from this post), and I can truly say these are some of the best cookies I've ever tasted.
Begin with butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.
Mix until light in color.
Add an egg and some vanilla extract.
Mmmmmm....this is the color we just painted our house, coincidentally...
Add in the flour mixture, carrots, walnuts, and raisins.
Measure out a tablespoon and a half of dough and
place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Now make the filling:
cream cheese + butter + honey + 2 tablespoons grated carrots
The next time I make these (which will be soon), I will make the cookies a bit smaller...more bite-sized. But other than that, I won't change a thing!
Thanks, Holly, for the recipe and the inspiration. Keep up the "pheMOMenal" work!
Here's the printable recipe.
Inside-Out Carrot Cake Cookies
Makes 16 large cookies (8 cookie "sandwiches")
1 and 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups coarsely grated carrots (about 2 large carrots), divided (save 2 tablespoons for the icing)
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup raisins ("regular" or golden)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons grated carrots
Here are all of the recipes from today's big reveal: