Everything has a day, these days, doesn’t it!? There’s a day for mothers, for fathers, for sisters, for brothers, for hugs, for penguins, for doughnuts and even a day dedicated to wiggling your toes. Whilst some of these may seem a tad over the top I’m always up for a good bit of celebration and positivity. When I found out that April 4th was International Carrot Day I jumped at the chance at hero-ing one of my favourite veg.
Carrots are great aren’t they? Completely versatile they go with everything. You can boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew (yes I know that’s potatoes). One of my favourite things to do with a carrot is roast them whole. My brother taught me this trick, just a tiny bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and let the carrot work it’s carroty goodness.
When I thought about how to champion the carrot though I couldn’t stop thinking about something I’d recently tried when in Malaga. We were in this gorgeous sun filled café that did some of the most incredible eggs. They also had a cabinet filled with gorgeous looking cakes, including, a carrot cake cookie. I was intrigued, tried it and was immediately determined that I could re-create and maybe even cheekily improve it. So here we go, my very own carrot cake cookie recipe:
Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwich with Orange Cream Cheese Filling.
Makes enough for 6 cookie sandwiches.
- 110g soft brown sugar
- 85 g self raising flour
- 110g wholemeal flour
- 2tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp ish of ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ish of ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ish of cinnamon
- 55g sultanas
- 170 g of peeled and grated carrot
- 1 dessert apple peeled, cored and grated
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 pint of vegetable or other plain light oil
- 2 tblsps apple juice
- 300g icing sugar
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 125 g cream cheese
- 1/2 an orange zested
- Heat oven to 180 degrees (Gas Mark 4). Set up two medium sized trays with baking paper.
Mother Lawlor always taught me to get my trays set up first. Super useful. Medium is a tad vague I know, I used two pizza trays as I am hugely lacking in trays at home
- In a large bowl beat sugar and eggs together till thick and frothy. Gradually beat in oil.
Don’t question how much liquid is in this cake. It’ll feel like a lot but it works
- In a separate bowl sift both flours, spices, baking powder and bicarb.
Always check that baking powder, bicarb etc are in date. If they’re not your cakes won’t rise = sad cakes. If you’re anything like me you’ll always forget this and have to scramble around the cupboard
- Tip flour mixture into liquid mixture, along with carrot, apple and sultanas. Mix well then finally add in apple juice and stir until all incorporated.
See why I said large bowl?
- Take large dessert spoon fulls of the mixture and place on baking tray, flatten until all level. Each tray should fit 6 cookies on. Place in pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes depending on oven.
I tried various sizes of these cookies. Too small and they’re overwhelmed by icing, too big you’re overwhelmed by cookie. They should be a tad squishy and soft, they’ll firm up as they cool
- Leave to cool for around ten minutes and them move to a wire cooling rack to cool completely
Sounds obviously but seriously. Never. Ever. Ever ice anything when it’s even vaguely warm. Wait even longer than you think you should. Make them the day before and store in an air tight container even. THEY NEED TO BE COLD OK!?
- Whilst waiting to cool make the cream cheese filling. In a free standing mixer (if you’re fancy), with an electric whisk (most of us) or using a hand whisk (good luck) place the icing sugar in a bowl and combine with butter until all incorporated.
Inevitably curse yourself for turning on said mixer or electric whisk too violently and ending up covered head to toe in sodding icing sugar
- Add in cream cheese all in one and mix until glossy and completely smooth. Add in your orange zest and mix using a spatula.
Stop eating the icing. It’s for the cookies
- To assemble your cookie sandwiches take a cookie, smother it liberally in the icing then place second cookie on top and dust lightly with icing sugar
Eat all of them and immediately regret it