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Sunday, 29 November 2020

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies (with vegan option)


It's the WEEKEND and nearly DECEMBER CAN YOU BELIEVE! And we are celebrating with these fluffy and moist Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies. Carrot cake has always been one of my favourite go-to cakes to make (and eat obviously) but I kinda fancied something a bit different for a change and so why not combine a cookie with a cake spin on things, sandwiching them between deliciously light and creamy, festive spiced buttercream. 

These are perfect at anytime of the year but with the classic carrot cake addition of cinnamon and mixed spice, these are definitely the one for when you start to get all the Christmas feels which I'm really starting to get with putting up the tree this weekend (yay), and may I add these go excellently with a hot choccy too - for a sweet sugar rush hit!!



In America these sandwich cookies can also be referred to as Whoopie Pies, which started off it's origins as a chocolate cake sandwich in cookie form with a traditional marshmallow fluffy filling, but now you'll find them in pretty much any flavour you can think of, from vanilla to peanut butter!

To get carrot into the soft pillow like cookies themselves, I decided to first cook the carrot, puree it, let it cool then add it to the dough mix, this way you don't get the shreds of carrot which I felt would be too wet and bulky for the cookies. I know it feels like a bit of an effort...but trust me it's well worth it. 


You could easily adapt this recipe if you fancied a different flavour, such as to suit more of a thanksgiving/Autumnal feel you could swap out the carrot puree for pumpkin which you can pick up in tinned form already done from most supermarkets; or how about butternut squash? Just replicate the same thing by peeling, cooking and pureeing it first.  

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies (with vegan option)


Makes 8-10 depending on cookie size


Ingredients:

115g butter (or dairy free vegan butter)
100g caster sugar (plus more for topping)
55g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g pureed carrot (see method below)
215g plain flour
1 ½ tsp cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
pinch of salt 
1 tsp mixed spice
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
15ml milk (or unsweetened almond milk)

For the buttercream filling:

55g butter (or dairy free vegan butter)
¼ tsp vanilla extract
170g icing sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp mixed spice 
Splash of milk (or unsweetened almond milk)

Method


Add softened butter to a large mixing bowl and cream with a mixer for 1 minute, or by hand with a wooden spoon but it may take a little longer. 

Add the sugar, brown sugar and vanilla and beat for 1 more minute. Add the carrot puree and mix to combine again. 

Stir in the flour, cornflour, baking powder and soda, salt, mixed spice, cinnamon and milk until all incorporated to a soft dough forms but be careful not to over mix. 

Freeze dough for 15 minutes, or refrigerate for 30 minutes (or chill overnight), meanwhile preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/ gas 4. 

Scoop out heaping 1 tbsp amounts of dough and roll into balls. Place 2 inches apart to allow for spreading onto baking trays that have been lined with baking paper and greased. Dip the base of a drinking glass into caster sugar and then gently smash the cookie ball down into a disc to imprint sugar onto the cookie surface.

Bake for 9-12 minutes or until very slightly golden brown, the leave to cool down on wire racks. The cookies will come out soft but will harden when cooling. 

Whilst cooling, make the buttercream filling. Beat all the buttercream ingredients together in one bowl, it will be quicker with a mixer but you can also beat with a wooden spoon until you get a smooth, thick and creamy buttercream. You may need to add a splash more milk if it's too thick, or more icing sugar if it's too thin, but be careful to add this slowly because it needs to be pretty thick so it will hold its shape once on the cookies. 

To assemble, spread or pipe a generous dollop of buttercream over one cookie base and then sandwich together with another base of a cookie. Keep going until you've done all the remaining cookie pairs. 

Store leftovers covered at room temperature in an air tight container for up to a few days. 

Carrot Puree


You'll need:

1 carrot approx. 100g in weight

Method


Peel the carrot and slice into thin rounds. Cook the rounds in boiling water until soft, for approx. 9 minutes. Once the carrots are cooked and soft, drain and add to a blender or hand blend/mash until a smooth puree forms. You may need to add a splash of water to puree it more easily. Leave it cool slightly before weighing and adding to the cookie mixture. 

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