Tag Archives: raisins

Getting Your Vegetables with Carrot Cake Cookies

grated carrotsDoctors say it. Health enthusiasts say it. Even your mother says…and probably has been saying it since you were little. “You need to eat your vegetables!” Well, I’ve got the perfect way to do just that…in a dessert! There is just no better way to eat your vegetables. From zucchini bread to pumpkin pie, veggies can make excellent desserts. And the one vegetable that probably makes the best dessert is the carrot. It’s sweet and delicious and makes the most delicious cakes. But, take it one step further, make it portables, and keep that wonderful cream cheese frosting, and you’ve got carrot cake cookies!

butterI am a huge fan of the whoopie pie, and this cookie recipe essentially creates a whoopie pie made out of carrot cake. The cookies stay moist and richly spiced, and the cream cheese frosting is amazing sandwiched between! This recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Cookies book, and from the first time I saw it, let alone the first time I tasted it, I knew it was a keeper.

butter and sugarTo start, make the cookies. Cream 1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temperature with 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup granulated sugar. Let this cream for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Then add 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and beat until combined.

Next, combine the dry ingredients. Add 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon ginger to a bowl. Mix together with a whisk. Gradually add this flour mixture to the butter mixture. Make sure your mixer is on low, otherwise you’ll be covered in flour (and so will your kitchen).flour mixtureNext, grate the carrots. You want 1 1/2 cups grated carrots, which for me took 4 pretty large carrots. Add the grated carrots, 2 cups rolled oats, and 1 cup raisins to the batter, and stir to combine. Chill the mixture for 1 hour, until firm.adding carrotsdoughAfter an hour, scoop out tablespoon size balls of dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until browned. And make sure you give them some space, they will spread (as you can see). If they do, just cut through with the spatula right away. If they cool, they’ll break when you try to cut them. Allow them to cool while you make the frosting.ready for the ovendonespatulaCombine 8 ounces cream cheese with 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, both at room temperature. Add 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. I use the mixer for this, but feel free to just use some elbow grease and a spatula.butter and cream cheeseadding sugarTo frost, I first pair up similar sized cookies and lay them out next to each other. I then add frosting to one side. This helps me make sure I’ve evenly distributed the frosting and also use it all up. After your frosting bowl is empty, spread out the frosting, press the cookies together, take a bite, and enjoy!matcheddropspreadThese really are an excellent treat. And, while I’m sure it’s not what your mother had in mind when she said to eat your vegetables, I’m sure she’d approve of this delicious dessert!enjoy

An Overabundance of Zucchini…So…Zucchini Bread!

Zucchini and SquashA few weeks ago, I was talking about using up the harvest and making zucchini and squash recipes.  At the time, I was holding off on the zucchini bread, just not quite ready for it yet.  For some reason, I always feel like zucchini bread needs to be made when you are sick and tired of zucchini.  And…well…it’s happening!  I’m making zucchini bread!

I don’t know what happened in the garden.  I thought I was staying on top of things, but we had rain this weekend, and there were some The Giant Plantsgiants in the garden.  The zucchini and squash plants are HUGE, and I just keep picking, and cooking, and giving it away!  I’ve made all kinds of recipes, and they have been delicious.  Zucchini lasagna, ratatouille, sautéed, fried, you name it, but it’s time for the bread.  And this zucchini bread recipe is my favorite, mainly because it calls for 4 cups of grated zucchini, so you definitely can use up the harvest! 🙂 And, all of that zucchini makes it very moist!

Mixing It All TogetherYou’ll need two loaf pans for this recipe.  Grease and flour those, and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Whisk together 3 cups whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.  In another bowl, beat 3 eggs, 1 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup white sugar, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.  Add the dry ingredients and mix that all together.  Then, stir in 4 cups grated zucchini, 1 cup chopped nuts (I prefer walnuts), and 1 cup raisins.

CookedPour that mix evenly in the 2 loaf pans, and bake for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Definitely let these cool in the pan before removing, as they are dense, but they are delicious!

Oh, and if you aren’t trying to stay on top of the harvest, you can use less zucchini, but it really is great with all of it!