Monday, September 12, 2011

Inside-Out Carrot Cake Cookies (SRC)

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

And assemble. 

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

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (it works much better than greasing).

Whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. 

Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugars for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is pale and fluffy.  Add in the egg and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes. Mix in carrots, nuts, and raisins at low speed, then add flour mixture and beat until just combined. 

Drop 1 1/2 tablespoons batter per cookie 2 inches apart on baking sheets and bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking (set the timer so you won't forget!), until cookies are lightly browned and springy to the touch, 12 to 16 minutes total. Cool cookies on sheets on racks 1 minute, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. 

While cookies are baking, blend cream cheese, butter, honey, and remaining 2 tablespoons of grated carrots using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer.  Refrigerate for a few minutes if the filling is too soft.

To assemble, sandwich flat sides of cookies together with a generous tablespoon of cream cheese filling in between.

Here are all of the recipes from today's big reveal:


Chats the Comfy Cook said...

This sounds like one great cookie. I must find time to make it.
Thanks for writing such a beautiful post about Holly. You really got to know your partner through her blog and did a wonderful job of sharing her with us.

Ginny said...

Thank you, Bizzy! I think it's great fun to learn about the person behind the blog I've been assigned to. Everybody has a story, you know?
Have a blessed day,

Deeba PAB said...

Love how beautifully you wrote this post Ginny, evocative and interesting. I love Holly's blog, and you've done so much justice to it. You have a beautiful blog too, and I'm bookmarking these cookies to make soon!

Unknown said...

These cookies look delicious. I love carrot cake and am going to give them a shot soon. I agree Holly is one talented woman!

PheMom said...

Hi Ginny! So nice to meet you! Thanks for such a sweet post - the cookies and your words! I really appreciate that you took the time to get to know me and our story. You reminded me again why I love our little blogging community so much! (And reminded me that those were some seriously tasty cookies!) I hope you have a fantastic week!


Melissa @IWasBornToCook said...

These look delicious! I love carrot cake. Great post :)

Carolyn said...

First, love the name of your blog, it makes me laugh. Second, yummy pick for the SRC!

Goesturbo said...

I am SO seriously drooling right now! :)

Ginny said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! And Holly - I adore your blog. Choosing just one thing was quite the challenge.

Lisa said...

Ginny, it was so great to get to know your blog and read your stories behind some of your creations. Your grandma's lemon bundt with lavender was my first choice, but then the quiche just pulled me in since I was feeling 'savory' after so many sweets the past month :) Glad to meet you, and those inside-out carrot cookies look to.die.for!

Becca @ Crumbs and Chaos said...

YUM! I love carrot cake and this looks like a fabulous take on those great flavors.

Desi said...

That is one glorious cookie. Carrot cake in cookie/whoopie pie form?! YUM!

Lisa~~ said...

Glad to find your blog through SRC. Your cookies look wonderful, I am saving the recipe as we'd love these.

If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Welsh Cakes.

Cook Lisa Cook

Trisha said...

I love carrot cake, these must've tasted great!

Camilla M. Mann said...

Carrot cake is a family favorite! Almost every year my son requests carrot cake cupcakes for his birthday treats at school. I might just have to try these next year. ~Culinary Adventures with Camilla

365daysofbaking said...

Ooh, I can't wait to make these. I love the frosting in the middle, just like whoopie pies! Great job!

Sara said...

These cookies look lovely! What a creative way to enjoy carrot cake flavors in a different way. :)

Gloria - The Ginger Snap Girl said...

Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts. I have been craving carrot cake and cookies might just be my answer. ;) I have better luck sharing cookies with others so i don't have to eat them all myself than sharing cake.

Love Holly's blog too! She is very inspiring. Great recipe pick.

Betsy said...

Carrot cake is a family favorite and these pictures are gorgeous! I'm making these asap!

Jenni said...

Wow, those look amazing! And I happen to have some carrots and cream cheese in my fridge right now! Guess I know what I am making tomorrow!! :)

Rhonda said...

I love this idea. Lovely photos! SRC is so much fun, especially for the introverted types ;)

Kim McCallie said...

These look delicious! I love carrot cake. I've been in the mood to make some cookie sandwiches or whoopie pies. I'd like to invite you to share your recipe on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

Caneel said...

Mmmm, these look incredible! I have loved your secret recipe posts so far, and am thinking I may need to give it a try. I'll have to try to find the time, though!

Vivian Thiele said...

I think the idea of carrot cake cooks is fantastic! Your pictures make me very hungry!

Graphics Matrox said...

These look so good! And those tiny carrots are so cute!
It's funny, I just wrote a post about my disappointing carrot cake that I bought today haha
And carrot cakes ARE healthy. Not only do you get your vegetables and nuts, but you get protein from the cheese :)